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NYSE, Euronext deal

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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: There are reports THE NYSE has reached what’s described as “a definitive agreement” to merge with the European trading giant Euronext. Official word is expected at a news conference in Paris today. The merger would create the first trans-Atlantic financial exchange. But as Marketplace’s Bob Moon tells us, this story could be unfolding for a while

BOB MOON: It may be a definitive merger agreement, but that doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. Far from it, say skeptics. There are enormous regulatory hurdles spanning two continents, and investors will have to be persuaded to approve the deal.

Shareholders on both sides of the Atlantic are already taking to their respective corners to fight it out for better terms. Manhattan College finance professor Charles Geisst says US investors are questioning whether the NYSE is moving too fast and paying too much in its quest to diversify beyond stock trading.

CHARLES GEISST: I think there’s a major suspicion that the reason the New York Stock Exchange wants Euronext is simply because of its non-securities trading, which of course is substantial. And, while that may be admirable, it seems like a very high price to pay for it.

Critics also fear the massive merger could distract the NYSE from cutting costs after its groundbreaking link-up with the electronic exchange Archipelago earlier this year.

In New York, I’m Bob Moon for Marketplace.

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