The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the takeover of NYSE Euronext by IntercontinentalExchange, according to a regulatory filing made available on the regulator's website early on Friday.
While the SEC is not the U.S. regulator responsible for reviewing exchange mergers for possible antitrust concerns, it is required to review them to ensure compliance with federal regulations governing how exchanges self-police their markets.
The deal, which will give ICE control of Liffe, Europe's second-largest derivatives market, is expected to close in early September. It still needs approval from national regulators in Europe.
Shareholders of both companies have already signed off on the deal, as has the European Commission. The friendly takeover was worth $8.2 billion when it was announced in December, and was valued at $10.6 billion based on the closing price of the ICE's stock on August 1.
The combined ICE-NYSE Euronext would be the third-largest exchange group globally, behind world No. 1 Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing and CME Group.
Atlanta-based ICE and New York-based NYSE plan to spin off Euronext, which operates the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon stock exchanges, after the deal has been completed.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington DC and John McCrank in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and John Wallace)