EU examines NYSE, Deutsche Boerse merger

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European antitrust authorities launched Wednesday their examination of a merger between NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse, a deal that would create the world's biggest stock exchange.

The office of European competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia confirmed receiving the merger plans and said the preliminary probe would close by August 4.

Brussels must decide whether to authorise the operation, possibly with conditions attached to it, or launch a deeper investigation that could last several months.

The two bourses said in a statement that they had formally notified the commission of their plans, "thereby triggering the formal start of the anti-trust review process in Europe."

Under the terms of their February 15 merger proposal, Deutsche Boerse shareholders will own 60 percent of the combined firm, with the German company dominating the new board.

Combining Deutsche Boerse and New York Stock Exchange Euronext would create a an operator with bourses in New York, Frankfurt, Paris, Lisbon, Amsterdam and Brussels.

© 2011 AFP

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