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Court fines Deutsche Börse €10.5M over insider trading case, closes probe

A Frankfurt court imposed a combined €10.5 million fine on Deutsche Börse AG over allegations of insider trading by former CEO Carsten Kengeter and an alleged omission of an ad hoc announcement in January 2016, when the merger talks with London Stock Exchange Group PLC officially began.

The District Court of Frankfurt am Main issued fines of €5 million and €5.5 million in connection with a probe into Kengeter and Deutsche Börse's failed merger with LSE. The investigation and court proceedings on the matter are now concluded.

The exchange decided it is best to settle the case by paying the fine — which it had previously agreed to — despite extensive audits affirming the company's position that the allegations are unfounded, Deutsche Börse said in a Dec. 21 statement.

The Frankfurt public prosecutor launched its investigation against Kengeter in February 2017. The former CEO controversially purchased shares in Deutsche Börse in December 2015, just weeks before the exchange officially began merger talks with LSE.

Kengeter, who denied the accusations, resigned from his post in October 2017 amid the investigation.