Nick Goodway: Time to limit German power with exchanges deal for Europe

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Less than a month to go until Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s competition commissioner, decides whether Deutsche Börse’s takeover of the London Stock Exchange should be subject to full investigation. 

Now Vestager has got the small matter of Apple and its friendly tax arrangement with Ireland off her chest, she should not hesitate to kick the e24 billion (£20 billion) Deutsche Börse-LSE merger into the long grass. 

It would not be surprising to hear Euronext — once owned by Intercontinental Exchange, which is the owner of the main stock exchanges in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon — turning up the volume in the next couple of weeks. 

The Euronext empire would be dwarfed by a merger between Frankfurt and London, and even if ICE baulked at making its own bid for the LSE, it will do anything to disrupt the merger of those rivals. 

Indeed, there is a good case to be argued post-Brexit that a deal which brought together London, Paris, Milan (part of the LSE), Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon exchanges would be better for the whole of Europe — those inside and outside the Union —and far healthier than one dominated  by Frankfurt. 

Go on, Margrethe, take action for the whole of Europe, not just Germany.

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September 6, 2016 |
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