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ICE Attempts to Buy CBOT

IntercontinentalExchange and the Chicago Board of Trade's parent company are working on a possible $9.9 billion merger, possibly disrupting a proposed merger between CME and CBOT.

IntercontinentalExchange made a proposal Thursday to buy CBOT Holdings, the parent company of the Chicago Board of Trade, and the two groups are now working on a possible $9.9 billion merger.

The move by Atlanta-based energy derivatives mart ICE is all the more bold because of a late 2006 merger deal between CBOT and CME Holdings, parent company of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. That deal values CBOT at about $8.97 billion.

CBOT Holdings has not changed its recommendation that shareholders vote next month in favor of the CME deal.

The hefty U.S. market share of futures, options on futures and futures clearing that a CME-CBOT combination would own could spell trouble for that deal as the deal undergoes review by the U.S. Department of Justice.

CBOT is the number two U.S. futures exchange, behind CME, and a CME-CBOT combination would account for about 87% of U.S. market share, while an ICE-CBOT combination would make up about 33%, according to 2006 data.

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