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Pedestrians walk outside of the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the first trading session of 2012 on January 3, 2012 in New York City. The NYSE could soon be merging with Deutsche Boerse. - 

Steve Chiotakis: European officials are reportedly on the verge of blocking a deal to create the world's biggest stock exchange. Reuters and other news outlets say regulators there will block the multi-billion dollar merger between the New York Stock Exchange and its German counterpart. Those regulators reportedly cite anti-trust concerns.

From ther Marketplace European desk, here's Stephen Beard.

Stephen Beard: This mega deal has been in trouble for months. What worries the regulators most is that the merged company would dominate the market for complex financial products called derivatives. The Financial Times in London says the regulators are now ready to block the deal -- unless the NYSE and Deutsche Boerse sell off some of the derivative businesses. Both companies have refused.

Quentin Webb is with the financial website, Breaking Views. He says this deal is just one a recent wave of planned mergers between stock exchanges in different countries. And most of the others have been blocked.

Quentin Webb: If this were to fall over too, the message to exchanges would be: Don't take any risk with deals that might fall foul -- either of trustbusters or of politicians looking to protest their home turfs.

The European regulator says it will not publish its decision until next month. The NYSE and Deutsche Boerse are reported to be lobbying furiously.

In London I'm Stephen Beard for Marketplace.