In the face of widespread opposition to their proposed merger, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board of Trade (Cbot) have published a revised blueprint outlining a faster integration timeline for their respective businesses, including electronic migration to the Globex platform and consolidation of trading floors.
The CME and Cbot agreed in October to merge to form the world's largest derivatives exchange.
The exchange's plan to close the deal in the middle of the year, pending approvals by regulators. The two Chicago exchanges are currently awaiting the results of an antitrust review by the US Department of Justice and the merger must also be approved by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the SEC.
But despite this the two firms have published plans to speed up the integration of their operations.
The exchanges say they now plan to migrate electronically-traded Cbot products onto the CME Globex platform in a phased migration, beginning in the first quarter of 2008. Previously, this integration was planned to take place one year following close.
Furthermore CME and Cbot open outcry markets will be consolidated into a single trading floor facility located at Cbot in the second quarter of 2008. This trading floor consolidation was previously expected to happen 12 to 18 months following close.
CME executive chairman, Terry Duffy, says: "Both parties are committed to developing this aggressive migration timeline post close so that our customers will be able to realise the benefits of our combined company sooner - not only cost savings but also expanded opportunities by placing complementary products on a consolidated electronic trading platform and trading floor."