London Stock Exchange-Deutsche Borse merger bid probed by European Commission
The European Commission has said it will open an in-depth investigation into the £21 billion merger between the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Germany's Deutsche Borse.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the decision was made in order to ensure financial market infrastructure remains "competitive".
She said: "Financial markets provide an essential function for the European economy.
"We must ensure that market participants continue to have access to financial market infrastructure on competitive terms.
"Therefore we have opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed merger."
Both LSE and Deutsche Borse have received the blessing of shareholders for the tie-up, but the deal now faces regulatory scrutiny and the merger has been complicated by Britain's decision to quit the European Union.
For its part, the LSE said that in order to address anti-trust concerns it will look to offload its French subsidiary LCH.
The commission, which must report its findings within 90 days, will asses whether the merger would reduce competition in several financial market infrastructure areas.
Regulators in Britain and Germany are also looking into the proposed deal.
Following Britain's shock decision to quit the European Union, the pair moved quickly to assuage any fears the result would scupper the deal.