Competition regulators in Brussels have blocked the merger that would have created the world’s biggest stock and derivatives exchange.
Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext say they will now unwind the deal.
The tie-up could only have gone ahead it the two had agreed to sell either the German operator’s derivatives market division or the US company’s London-based futures exchange.
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said: “We have decided today to prohibit the proposed merger between DB and NYSE-Euronext. If the merger would have been allowed it would have resulted in a quasi-monopoly in exchange traded financial derivatives.. where the two companies control more than 90 percent of the global market.”
He added: “These markets are at the heart of the financial system, and it is crucial for the whole European economy that they remain competitive. We tried to find a solution, but the remedies offered fell far short of resolving the concerns.”
NYSE Euronext said it strongly disagreed with the EU decision saying it was based on a “fundamentally different understanding of the derivatives market”.
Deutsche Boerse’s chief executive called it a “black day for Europe and for its future competitiveness on global financial markets.”