U.S. regulator approves merger of BATS and Direct Edge exchanges

NEW YORK Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:21pm EST

NEW YORK Jan 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the merger of exchange operators BATS Global Markets Inc and Direct Edge Holdings LLC, according to a notice on the regulator's website posted on Friday and dated Jan. 23.

The combination of the exchanges will create the No. 2 U.S. equities exchange, ahead of Nasdaq OMX Group by volume and just behind IntercontinentalExchange Group's NYSE Euronext unit.