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European Commission approves $8.2 billion NYSE-Euronext buyout by ICE

BRUSSELS – The European Commission has approved InterContinental Exchange’s proposed $8.2 billion takeover of NYSE Euronext, saying the two are not direct competitors in most markets and will continue to face strong competition.

The deal will give ICE control of London-based Liffe, Europe’s second-largest derivatives market.

The combined ICE-NYSE Euronext would be the third-largest exchange group globally, behind Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing and CME Group. The European Commission confirmed it approved the merger in an emailed statement Monday.