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Deutsche Börse CEO probed over share purchase ahead of merger talks

The Frankfurt public prosecutor is investigating Deutsche Börse AG CEO Carsten Kengeter's purchase of shares in the exchange just weeks before it officially began merger talks with London Stock Exchange Group Plc.

Kengeter purchased 60,000 shares, as part of a company remuneration program, worth about €4.5 million on Dec. 14, 2015, the Financial Times reported, citing regulatory filings.

The two exchanges officially began talking about a merger in January 2016 and revealed in February 2016 that they were in talks, when shares in both companies soared, according to the report.

EU antitrust watchdogs are reviewing the proposed deal for its expected impact on competition in the clearing business in Europe. The March 13 deadline to make a final decision is likely to be extended if, as expected, the two exchanges offer potential remedies to the European Commission.