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Chicago Exchanges’ Shareholders to Vote on Merger

Shareholders of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings and CBOT Holdings will vote on the exchanges’ proposed merger at separate meetings on April 4, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Executives from both exchanges have stated they expect the merger, announced in October last year (Squawkbox, October 23, 2007) to close midyear.

The merger is still awaiting regulatory approval from the US Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The proposed combination, which would create the world’s largest derivatives exchange, has been criticised in recent weeks. Trade organisation, the Futures Industry Association – which is not required to approve the merger – has said the new company could display an unfair pricing power, which would “raise even higher the barriers to entry for new competitors.”

CME officials meanwhile have said that the merger will increase competition in the global marketplace.

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