Deutsche Boerse AG and NYSE Euronext confirmed on Friday plans to sell equity-option businesses across Europe and to give rivals access to a major derivatives clearinghouse, in an effort to win support for their $9 billion (5 billion pounds) merger from antitrust regulators.

People working directly on the deal earlier told Reuters that the exchange operators submitted the plan to the European Commission late on Thursday, the deadline for the companies to propose concessions meant to address concerns over their combined grip on derivatives trading.

Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext continue to believe that the transaction will have no detrimental effect on competition, but rather will enhance it by delivering a regulated, stable and transparent European counterweight to established market centers in America and Asia and delivering significant efficiencies to users of our markets, the exchanges said in a statement.

Deutsche Boerse and NYSE face an in-depth antitrust review of the deal, which will create the world's largest exchange operator if it receives approval.

The European Commission, set to give its ruling on the takeover of NYSE Euronext by year-end, has signalled it would not consider the over-the-counter derivatives market, when it assesses the antitrust implications of the deal, Reuters reported last month.

This could make it harder for Deutsche Boerse to make the case that its combination with NYSE will not lead to dominance in derivatives, fuelling competition concerns and potentially forcing the companies to offer significant concessions in return for regulatory clearance.

The pair has in part argued that together they would create a European champion that could better compete with strong exchange competitors in the United States, Latin America and Asia.

(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde)