According to the ECâs initial preliminary investigation, the potential deal between the two stock exchange groups could lead to competition concerns in certain areas including that of derivatives trading, clearing, equities trading and index licensing.
The EC now has until 13 December 2011 to make a decision on whether the merger would affect competition in the European Economic Area.
JoaquÃn Almunia, commission vice-president in charge of competition policy, said: âThe proposed merger would remove a strong competitor from the market and would give the merged company by far the leading position in derivatives trading in Europe.
âThe commission needs to make sure that markets which are at the heart of the financial sector remain competitive and efficiently deliver to users."
Innovation surrounding technology solutions and derivatives products could potentially be negatively impacted by the merger, the EC has said.
Meanwhile, NYSE Euronext reported a drop in its net income, with the exchange posting a figure of $154 million for the second quarter of 2011 compared with $184 million for the same period in 2010.
By Jim Ottewill