Deutsche Boerse said Wednesday that the EU Commission in Brussels had told it that its planned merger with NYSE Euronext has been blocked.
"Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext have been informed that the European Commission today has decided to prohibit their proposed business combination," the German company, which operates the Frankfurt stock exchange, said in a statement.
The EU Commission is scheduled to issue its ruling later on Wednesday, but it had been widely expected to block the tie-up -- which would have created the world's largest market operator -- even though Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext had offered to separate some of their derivatives operations to allay competition concerns.
"Despite the remedies offered by the companies, the European Commission concluded that the combination would significantly impede effective competition and declared the concentration to be incompatible with the common market," the statement said.
"Upon receipt of the official notification of the prohibition decision, the exchange offer will therefore automatically lapse."
The proposed merger has also sparked controversy in the United States as it would hand over the New York Stock Exchange to foreign owners.
A deal would have seen Deutsche Boerse shareholders own 60 percent of the new combined, Netherlands-incorporated firm.