General Court Fully Upholds the European Commission’s Decision to Block the Merger Between Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext

On Mar. 9, 2015, the General Court confirmed the European Commission’s decision prohibiting the proposed merger between Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext. The merger—which would have brought together the two largest exchanges in the world for European financial derivatives— was blocked by the Commission in February 2012. The Commission’s investigation had found that the merger would lead to a significant impediment to effective competition by creating a near-monopoly position. In particular, the transaction would have led to a single vertical structure, trading and clearing more than 90% of the global market of European exchange-traded derivatives.

Deutsche Börse, which had brought the appeal, had argued that the Commission’s assessment in considering exchange-traded derivatives and over-the-counter derivatives as separate markets was incorrect. It had also alleged that the Commission had failed to properly assess the efficiency gains and the remedies offered by the companies. All three pleas were rejected by the General Court. Deutsche Börse has two months from the date of the judgment to decide whether to bring a further appeal before the Court of Justice.

Information on Deutsche Börse’s appeal can be found here.