CNBC's Bob Pisani On Euronext/NYSE Merger

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European regulators have given approval to the merger between Euronext and the NYSE . This removes a major obstacle to the merger.

This is being positioned as a merger of equals; the 22-member board will be split evenly between the NYSE and Euronext.

Euronext has scheduled a shareholder vote on the merger for December 19th.
One stumbling block is convincing shareholders that Euronext will be regulated by a separate, European based organization. Shareholders there are concerned that U.S. regulatory rules, including certain provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley, might apply to them.

NYSE CEO John Thain has already said that the merged entity will have separate regulatory agencies.

Next step: approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Barring obstacles, the merger should close in the first quarter of 2007.