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NY Stock Exchange moves closer to sell order

Christina Rexrode, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Stock Exchange is one step closer to its own sell order.

NYSE Euronext, which is the parent company of the world-famous stock exchange, and IntercontinentalExchange, which is buying the company, said Tuesday the deal has cleared one of the regulatory hurdles it must pass for the combination to go through.

Like other big companies that combine, the two companies were required to submit information about their combination to the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice under an antitrust rule. Tuesday, the companies said that the waiting period required by the government rule had expired.

IntercontinentalExchange, an Atlanta-based exchange started in 2000, announced in December that it would buy NYSE Euronext for $8 billion.

The announcement catapulted the little-known company, known as ICE, into the national spotlight. It also marked more erosion in the clout of the NYSE. The stock exchange, at the corner of Wall and Broad streets in Manhattan and more than two centuries old, is a symbol of a globally recognized financial district. But its influence has waned because of competition from upstart new exchanges.

ICE's purchase of NYSE Euronext still needs other regulatory approvals, including some from European regulators. The companies have said they expect the deal to be completed in the second half of this year.

NYSE Euronext shares gained 29 cents to $37.85 in premarket trading. IntercontinentalExchange shares were unchanged at $156.46.