P/>NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Even though NYSE Euronext ( NYX) is moving on from its $7.4 billion scuttled merger with Deutsche Boerse, the European exchange will continue to contest an antitrust ruling blocking the deal that it called, "a black day for Europe and for its future competitiveness on global financial markets."On Thursday NYSE Euronext said that it won't join its former partner in contesting the ruling. "While we continue to believe that the European Commission decision was based on an incorrect determination of the relevant market definition, we do not believe that the interests of our shareholders and our company would be served by undertaking a protracted appeal," NYSE Euronext said in a statement.
Deutsche Boerse's contest with the EC's market concentration analysis may help the Frankfurt-based exchange pave the way for future deals. Both NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse argued that the EC's view of derivative markets was too narrow and didn't include over-the-counter products. A contest of the ruling could also help Deutsche Boerse avoid shareholder lawsuits on the merger and a some deal-related costs, which swelled to $108.6 million in the company's fourth quarter. In February, Deutsche Boerse boosted its dividend and launched a roughly $265 million share buyback program. In December, the U.S. Department of Justice approved the merger, contingent on divestiture of Deutsche Boerse's 31.5% stake in Direct Edge, the fourth largest stock exchange operator in the United States. For exchange operators looking to consolidate, the deal blockage caps a miserable few years. Regulators have canceled as much as $37 billion in exchange mergers since October 2010, according to Bloomberg data. Those deals include a DoJ rejection of a competing $11.3 billion bid by Nasdax OMX Group ( NDAQ) and IntercontinentalExchange ( ICE) for NYSE Euronext and a tie up between the Australia's flagship ASX and the Singapore Exchange. For more on exchanges M&A, see why investors should expect small deals. -- Written by Antoine Gara in New York