Deutsche Börse to take legal action over merger decision
Deutsche Börse has said it will take the European Commission to court for blocking its planned merger with NYSE Euronext, which would have been the largest-ever merger between international financial exchanges.
On 1 February, Joaquín Almunia, the European commissioner for competition, won the support of the rest of the Commission for blocking the proposed €6.8 billion tie-up between the two financial exchanges. Almunia said the proposed link-up would create a near monopoly in the market for financial derivatives.
But Germany’s stock-market operator yesterday said it would challenge the Commission’s decision at the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
Deutsche Börse said it hoped that the appeal would lead to a change in the Commission’s definition of the derivatives markets, which at present does not include over-the-counter trading. The company will also try to get back the money it invested in the failed merger.
When the decision to block the merger was announced in February, Deutsche Börse said that it would damage the EU’s future competitiveness on global financial markets, adding that the move was based “on an unrealistically narrow definition” of the derivatives market. NYSE Euronext has not yet decided whether to join the legal appeal.
The Commission today said that the decision to block the merger was the right thing to do. A spokesman for Almunia said: “We fully stand by the decision.”
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