ICE Seeks European Union Merger Review for NYSE Takeover

IntercontinentalExchange Inc. will seek a European Union merger review of its plans to buy NYSE Euronext to avoid multiple probes across the 27-nation bloc.

While ICE must formally ask U.K., Portugal and Spain to approve the deal, it said it will ask for EU regulators to take charge of examining the transaction, according to a regulatory filing published today. ICE said it expects to file for EU approval in the first half of this year.

The exchanges intend to ask national regulators to pass the deal to the European Commission so that clearance is required only from one authority, ICE said in a regulatory filing today. The Brussels-based commission can demand jurisdiction over deals that have a cross-border impact.

ICE, the 12-year-old energy and commodity futures bourse, agreed on Dec. 21 to acquire NYSE Euronext for cash and stock worth $8.2 billion. EU regulators blocked Deutsche Boerse AG’s purchase of NYSE last year, citing concern over competition in derivatives and clearing and rejecting arguments the combined exchange would be a regional champion.

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