The NYSE Euronext – Deutsche Börse AG Deal
On Feb. 9, 2011, NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Börse AG confirmed speculation that they were in fact engaged in advanced discussions regarding a potential business combination. A finalized deal was announced on Feb. 15, upon approval from both companies’ boards. Reuters

Deutsche Börse AG, the operator of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, said Tuesday it will appeal a decision by European Union antitrust regulators that blocked a $10 billion merger with NYSE Euronext.

The decision by the European Commission to block the merger, announced Feb. 2, halted the combination of Deutsche Börse with NYSE Euronext on antitrust grounds. The European Commission, fearing that the combined company would have a dominant position in European derivatives traded on exchanges, blocked the merger, the New York Times reported.

Deutsche Börse is of the view that several aspects of the decision are incorrect, the company said in a statement Monday. It hopes to force a change in the definition of the derivatives market by European regulators and fears that if the decision is left uncontested it will stymie future deals in the derivatives market, Reuters reported.

Deutsche Börse hopes to recoup the €82.2 million ($108.4 million) it spent pursuing the merger. But the exchange operator reportedly does not plan to renew its attempted merger with NYSE Euronext. Its goal is to prevent a precedent being set.

Legal analysts are not predicting that the appeal will be successful. Prior appeals by other companies to the European Commission have been rebuffed.

The likelihood of success is as close to zero as you can possibly measure, Evan Stewart, an antitrust lawyer and managing partner at Zuckerman Spaeder LLP in New York, told Reuters.

Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange Inc.'s attempted merger last year with NYSE Euronext was blocked by the U.S. Department of Justice.