Nasdaq OMX and and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) have dropped their takeover offer for Nyse Euronext after regulators made clear the deal would not clear antitrust hurdles.
Nasdaq OMX and ICE moved to hijack a $9.7 billion Deutsche Boerse bid for Nyse Euronext last month, with a $11.3 billion counteroffer.
Under the deal, ICE would have taken on Nyse Euronext's futures businesses with Nasdaq OMX owning the rest, including exchanges in New York, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Lisbon, as well as the US options business.
Despite being rejected by Nyse Euronext's board twice, only last week the pair sent out a letter to shareholders claiming that their offer is superior and accusing their prey's management of rushing through the Deutsche Boerse vote.
However, they have now abandoned the pursuit after discussions with the Department of Justice antitrust unit made clear a takeover would be blocked.
Bob Greifeld, CEO, Nasdaq OMX, says: "We took the decision to withdraw our offer when it became clear that we would not be successful in securing regulatory approval for our proposal despite offering a variety of substantial remedies, including the sale of the Nyse SRO and related businesses."