Nasdaq and IntercontinentalExchange are withdrawing their proposed $11 billion bid for the parent of the New York Stock Exchange after recognizing they would not receive regulatory approval for the transaction. The two financial giants announced today that they had held unsuccessful talks with the antitrust division of the Justice Department about their joint bid for NYSE Euronext. The NYSE Euronext approval board had twice rejected the Nasdaq and ICE bid.
The decision leaves the path open for NYSE Euronext to proceed with its previous $10 billion deal to combine with the German exchange operator Deutsche Boerse. The announcement comes one week after Nasdaq and ICE appealed directly to NYSE Euronext shareholders, issuing a letter saying that the NYSE board was rushing a vote without exploring better alternatives.