Saturday

20th Aug 2022

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"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.

Conditions met for German nuclear extension, officials say

Conditions have been met for the German government to allow a temporary lifetime extension of three remaining nuclear reactors, according to the Wall Street Journal, as the country is facing a likely shortage of gas this winter.

News in Brief

  1. China joins Russian military exercises in Vostok
  2. Ukraine nuclear plant damage would be 'suicide', says UN chief
  3. Denmark to invest €5.5bn in new warships
  4. German economy stagnates, finance ministry says
  5. Syria received stolen grain, says Ukraine envoy
  6. Truss still leads in next UK PM polling
  7. UN chief meets Zelensky and Erdogan over grain exports
  8. Fighting stalls ahead of UN visit, Ukraine says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  4. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis

Latest News

  1. European inflation hits 25-year high, driven by energy spike
  2. No breakthrough in EU-hosted Kosovo/Serbia talks
  3. Letter to the Editor: Rosatom responds on Zaporizhzhia
  4. Could the central Asian 'stan' states turn away from Moscow?
  5. Serbia expects difficult talks with Kosovo at EU meeting
  6. How scary is threat to Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant?
  7. Slovakia's government stares into the abyss
  8. Finland restricts Russian tourist visas

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us