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Exclusive-EEX’s Nasdaq deal risks probe as remedies seen as insufficient, sources say

In Technology
June 03, 2024

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Energy Exchange’s Nasdaq deal risks a full-scale investigation by EU antitrust regulators unless the Deutsche Boerse unit beefs up remedies to address competition concerns, people with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

EEX is seeking to acquire Nasdaq’s European power trading and clearing business Nasdaq Power, whose platforms are of key significance for users and businesses in the Nordics. It submitted remedies to the EU on May 27 but did not make details public.

The EU antitrust watchdog is unlikely to seek feedback from users and rivals on the remedies already submitted, a sign that these are insufficient, the people said.

The European Commission, which acts as the EU competition enforcer, is expected to open a full-scale investigation into the deal following the end of its preliminary review on June 26 unless EEX beefs up its remedies in the coming days, they said.

The Commission, which last month asked rivals and customers whether the deal may allow EEX to bundle its products to expand its market power and also push up prices, and EEX declined to comment. Nasdaq did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

EEX and Nasdaq last year said the deal posed no significant threat to competition in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway or any other EU country, that it would not eliminate competition between the two companies, and that market reaction had been positive.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Jan Harvey and Ros Russell)

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