EU Blocks LSE, Deutsche Boerse Merger
The European Union has blocked the large-scale merger of the London Stock Exchange with German Deutsche Boerse on the grounds of apprehensions about competition and Brexit.
“After the parties failed to propose the necessary measures for dealing with our apprehensions about competition, the EC decided to ban the merger,” stated European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager.
The decision does not come as a surprise since, last month, LSE announced that it rejects EC’s demand that it give up its majority share in Italian trade platform MTS. According to the EC, the sale of MTS would prevent the creation of a monopoly in share trading and would provide a solution to Brussels’ apprehensions.
The merger of the two stock exchanges was announced last year and received the support of both London and Berlin in spite of Brexit.
But German apprehensions grew when it became clear that the newly-established company will be based in London and not in Frankfurt. The merger caused criticisms on the part of France, Belgium, Portugal and Holland which expressed apprehensions about the future of their own stock exchanges owned by the company Euronext.
This is the third time that LSE and Deutsche Boerse have attempted to merge. Similar attempts were made in 2000 and 2005.
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