October 31, 2018 / 8:30 AM / 2 months ago

UK competition watchdog clears CME Group's buy of NEX Group

Michael Spencer listens during a Future of Finance Initiative conference in Horsham, southern England December 8, 2009. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

(Reuters) - Britain’s competition watchdog cleared CME Group Inc’s 3.9 billion pounds ($4.96 billion) deal to buy Michael Spencer’s NEX Group Plc, paving the way for a cross-border trading powerhouse.

The Competition and Markets Authority said on Wednesday that it would not refer the deal for further investigation.

The move comes at a time when large exchange mergers, such as between the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse, have hit antitrust hurdles in recent years.

NEX, a financial technology company that matches buyers and sellers of bonds, swaps and currencies, said that all the conditions relating to regulatory and antitrust approvals with regard the CME Group deal have been satisfied.

A union of the two firms would enable investors to access cash and futures trading and over-the-counter services through one provider for the first time, improving access to markets, NEX’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Michael Spencer has said.

CME’s clearing house and NEX’s TriOptima compression service will allow CME to compete against the LCH, part of the LSE which dominates clearing in euro-denominated instruments such as debt repurchase agreements and interest rate swaps.

($1 = 0.7867 pounds)

Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru

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