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Bats-Direct Edge Merger Puts Traders in Control of Venues

Bats Global Markets Inc.’s merger with Direct Edge Holdings LLC will put a broker-owned stock exchange operator in the top ranks on Wall Street for the first time since NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. went public.

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved the combination and the company expects to close the transaction within days, Bats said today in a statement. The merged Bats Global Markets, whose owners include Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse Group AG, Citadel LLC, Citigroup Inc. and KCG Holdings Inc., will run four exchanges that claim more than 20 percent of daily equity volume to challenge NYSE for the most market share.