The company that operates the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and other European markets is buying the New York Stock Exchange to form the world's largest market for trading stock and other securities.
The boards of Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext approved the merger Tuesday. The Bloomberg financial news agency reports the German company will pay $9.53 billion for the New York-based exchanges.
The deal will create a single company, which the Reuters news agency says will handle an estimated $20 trillion in annual trading in the United States, Germany, France, Britain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium.
The deal must still be approved by regulators in the United States and Europe.
New York stock trading can be traced to 1792, when traders first made a deal under a buttonweed tree on Wall Street. Now, the stocks of thousands of companies are traded on the NYSE.
To millions of Americans, the New York Stock Exchange may symbolize "Big Business" and be the source of personal wealth and security. The fortunes of the exchange itself have faltered in recent years, however, as the trading of stock and other securities has greatly expanded around the clock at exchanges throughout the world - not just most prominently in New York.
Smaller stock exchanges have been forced to merge with larger ones in order to meet the fast pace of securities trading. Trading now is most often conducted through the use of advanced computers, not in a face-to-face transaction between two traders, as once was the case.
Last week, the London Stock Exchange said it is merging with Canada's TMX Group. Eight other stock market mergers have occurred since 2000 and the Hong Kong Exchange said Thursday it also would consider a merger.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.