Europe

EU blocks merger of Deutsche Boerse, London Stock Exchange

  • FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2016 file photo the bull statue stands in front of the stock market in Frankfurt, Germany. The European Union blocked the proposed merger of Germany's Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 saying that it had "very serious" concerns about the deal's impact on competition. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

    FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2016 file photo the bull statue stands in front of the stock market in Frankfurt, Germany. The European Union blocked the proposed merger of Germany's Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 saying that it had "very serious" concerns about the deal's impact on competition. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this  March 27, 2017 file photo, a general view of the trading room at the German stock market pictured in Frankfurt, Germany. The European Union blocked the proposed merger of Germany's Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 saying that it had "very serious" concerns about the deal's impact on competition. (AP Photo/Michael Probst,file)

    FILE - In this March 27, 2017 file photo, a general view of the trading room at the German stock market pictured in Frankfurt, Germany. The European Union blocked the proposed merger of Germany's Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 saying that it had "very serious" concerns about the deal's impact on competition. (AP Photo/Michael Probst,file)  (The Associated Press)

  • European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. The European Union blocked the proposed merger of Germany's Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, saying that it had "very serious" concerns about the deal's impact on competition. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. The European Union blocked the proposed merger of Germany's Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, saying that it had "very serious" concerns about the deal's impact on competition. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

The European Union has blocked the planned merger of Germany's Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said Wednesday that the deal would have created "a de facto monopoly in the crucial area of fixed income instruments," such as bonds.

The London exchange said last month that it couldn't commit to selling its majority stake in the electronic bond market MTS, which would have alleviated the EU's concerns.

The companies announced the deal in March 2016, three months before British voters decided in a referendum to leave the European Union. Both insisted that the deal made sense even in case of Brexit.

Shareholders in Deutsche Boerse, which operates the Frankfurt stock exchange, would have owned 54.4 percent of the holding company.