RPT-EU regulator to seek views on D.Boerse-NYSE concessions

Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:27am EST

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS Nov 22 (Reuters) - EU regulators will seek market views on concessions offered by Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext before deciding whether to clear their planned $9 billion merger, the EU's competition chief said on Tuesday.

The two exchange operators last week proposed to sell some businesses and give rivals access to Deutsche Boerse's Eurex derivatives clearing house in a bid for regulatory approval to create the world's biggest exchange operator.

"We are analysing the remedies, we have not yet concluded our analysis. We will market test what they have sent us," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters.

People familiar with the matter said the market test has not yet started. One of the persons said this is expected to kick off some time this week. Regulators typically seek views from third parties on merger concessions before deciding on the deals.

Earlier on Tuesday, Almunia told EU lawmakers that the bulk of the regulator's objections over the deal centered more on exchange derivatives.

Opponents and some analysts said the concessions by Deutche Boerse and NYSE Euronext were not sufficient to address concerns raised by the European Commission which may force the operators to concede more.

"We believe that (divesting overlapping single equity derivatives) is likely to be seen as too small a concession and open access to Eurex Clearing is likely to be enforced under MIFIR (updated EU rules on securities trading) in any case," Barclays Capital analysts wrote in a note on Tuesday.

"We believe the Commission is unlikely to be fully appeased by these remedies. In our view, further negotiations are likely at which DB/NYSE management may be forced to make further concessions, hitting synergies," they said.

EU regulators have set a Jan. 23 deadline for a decision on the deal.

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