Deutsche Börse woos OFT to speed deal with Stock Exchange

Deutsche Börse expects to ask Britain's Office of Fair Trading to approve its planned takeover of the London Stock Exchange this week in an effort to speed up the auction and get ahead of its rival Euronext.

The Frankfurt-based market has already approached the German federal cartel office, the country's antitrust regulator, for approval of its takeover proposal, which would create the second-largest exchange in the world. Werner Seifert, the head of Börse, is anxious to push on with negotiations and was frustrated at the LSE's decision to suspend talks over Christmas. Börse is understood to believe that its proposal would not raise significant competition issues and would be cleared.

Lawyers working for Börse are concerned that a competition examination could delay a deal by many months and give Euronext - which is thought to face fewer regulatory hurdles - a critical advantage in securing a takeover of the LSE.

Chris Tupker, the chairman of Euroclear - the cross-border settlements business owned by its users - warned last week that the takeover of the London market by an exchange that owns securities and settlement houses should put regulators on "red alert." He did not mention Börse by name but the LSE and its customers have voiced concerns that Frankfurt's integrated structure - trading, clearing and settlement - is anticompetitive.

The London Investment Bankers' Association, which is headed by Morgan Stanley's Sir David Walker and represents most of the major users of the LSE, is expected to seek reassurances this week that the cost of trading shares will not rise as a result of a takeover. It is also expected to say it is concerned about the possible lack of competition in settlement and clearing.

Jean-Francois Theodore, the chief executive of Euronext, which runs the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon exchanges, wants to be sure his bid does not face regulatory hurdles and may also approach the OFT before tabling a formal offer.

Euronext expects talks to last "weeks and weeks", sources say. In some ways, the pan-European bourse is in a better position than its bigger German rival: it already does half of its business in London at the derivatives exchange Liffe, and has proved it can successfully integrate cross-border businesses while retaining their distinctiveness. Unlike Börse, Euronext does not control its clearing and settlement providers.

Both bidders have yet to table formal offers. Yesterday the LSE denied reports that it was working to a timetable of announcing a deal by the end of this month.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy as ECB finally wield the axe
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

Guru Careers: Finance Account Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas