The Competition Bureau on Wednesday cleared the way for the Maple Group consortium of Canadian banks and pension funds to take over Canada's stock exchanges.
The consortium last year launched a $3.8 billion bid for TMX Group, which operates the Toronto and Montreal stock markets, after a rival effort to merge the London Stock Exchange and Toronto's bourse was scrapped.
In a statement, Commissioner of Competition Melanie Aitken said she won't "challenge the proposed transaction."
However, two provincial securities regulators must still approve the deal, which is set to expire on July 31.
"We hope to receive the remaining approvals shortly and look forward to beginning the work to implement our vision for a more globally competitive exchange in Canada," said a Maple Group spokesman.
Maple is looking to also buy Alpha Group, another Canadian trading system, as well as the stock-clearing and depository service CDS, to create a one-stop national trading house.