Deutsche Boerse, NYSE Say No Official Antitrust Ruling on Deal

NYSE, Deutsche Boerse CEOs Said to Schedule Meeting
Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

European antitrust regulators have until Feb. 9 to evaluate Deutsche Boerse AG’s takeover of NYSE Euronext and have yet to communicate a formal ruling, according to the exchange companies.

“Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext have not received yet an official decision by the European Commission regarding the requested merger,” Deutsche Boerse spokesman Frank Herkenhoff said in an e-mailed statement. The New York Stock Exchange owner issued a similar statement, citing a media report.

“The commission has announced that it will make its final ruling on whether to clear the proposed merger by Feb. 9, 2012. As a matter of policy, we cannot comment on speculation,” Herkenhoff wrote.

NYSE shares climbed as much as 5.3 percent to $27.98 today after the Financial Times said Joaquin Almunia, the EC’s antitrust chief, informed the companies he will recommend against the deal. Almunia’s team drafted an official recommendation opposing the plan because it would create too big a player in European derivatives, the FT said, citing two people involved in the process which it didn’t name.

EC negotiators told the companies at a Dec. 21 meeting in Brussels the concessions they offered to allay competition concerns didn’t go far enough and that they were likely to recommend against the merger, two people familiar with the talks told Bloomberg at the time. People familiar with the situation said Dec. 30 that a draft recommendation reflecting that opinion would probably be released this month.

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