22nd Mar 2018

Commission stops German-British stock merger

  • EU competition chief, Margrete Vestager, said the deal would have been bad for the European economy. (Photo: European Commission)

The European Commission has stopped a merger between the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Deutsche Boerse, a Frankfurt-based stock exchange, on Wednesday (29 March).

EU competition commissioner Margrete Vestager said she prohibited the move, because it would hurt the European economy.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"The European economy depends on well functioning financial markets. The whole economy benefits when businesses can raise money on competitive financial markets," she told a news conference. "The commission cannot allow the creation of monopolies, which would have happened in this case," she added.

The merger would have meant that all clearing houses in the EU would belong to the same owner. Clearing houses are the middlemen between sellers and buyers of stocks.

The block was widely expected, as LSE had refused to divest its majority stake in the Italian trading platform, MTS, which the commission had made a condition of the deal's approval.

"Instead, LSE submitted a very complicated offer at the last minute. The partners were not unable to demonstrate these measures would have been effective," Vestager said.

The merger would have given birth to one of the world's leading stock exchanges, valued at €24 billion.

Vestager denied that the prohibition had to do with the UK's decision to leave the EU. The UK ambassador to the EU is expected to hand in the official leaving notification at 1.30pm.

When asked about the danger of LSE falling outside the influence of the EU executive after Brexit, she said that ownership wasn't her concern - but the conditions on the EU market were.

The British and German stock markets had already tried, and failed, to merge in 2000 and 2005.

Merkel in Paris for eurozone reform talks

Angela Merkel - who started her fourth term as Germany's chancellor earlier this week - is wasting no time on big issues like eurozone reforms. On Friday she is meeting Emmanuel Macron where the two will seek common ground.

EU insists on US tariffs exemption

Europe is "an ally, not a threat", the EU Commission says - as the US is poised to impose duties in steel and aluminium. Common action on Chinese steel overcapacity could help diffuse the crisis.

VW dismisses complaints on Dieselgate fix

'I think customers who want to get information (...) are able to receive information if they want," VW management board member Hiltrud Werner told EUobserver. Consumer groups disagree.

News in Brief

  1. EU will be exempted from tariffs, says US minister
  2. Malmstroem: EU 'hopes' for US tariffs exemption
  3. Parliament must publish 'trilogue' documents, court says
  4. Italy's centre-right set to share top posts with 5-star movement
  5. Brussels condemns tear gas in Kosovo parliament
  6. Finland pays billionaire €400,000 in EU farm subsidies
  7. 44 leaders sign up for Africa free trade area deal
  8. British 'blue' passports to be made in EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. EU summit takes hard look at Russia
  2. Germany casts doubt on Austrian intelligence sharing
  3. EU leaders set for 'stormy debate' on digital tax at summit
  4. EU praises Turkey on migrant deal despite Greek misery
  5. Judicial reforms 'restore balance', Poland tells EU
  6. Whistleblower fears for life as US arrests Malta bank chair
  7. Behind the scenes at Monday's EU talks on Russia
  8. US yet to push on Nord Stream 2 sanctions