Morning Agenda: Stock Exchange Merger, Herbalife, Warren Buffett


The lobby of the London Stock Exchange in 2015. The London Stock Exchange Group’s most recent effort to merge with Deutsche Börse was the companies’ third attempt to come together since 2000.

Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

It looked as if the third time was going to be the charm for the London Stock Exchange Group and Deutsche Börse.

But nearly a year after agreeing to a merger, the London Exchange said the deal was unlikely to be approved by European regulators.

The European Commission had made the sale of a majority stake in MTS, an electronic platform for trading European government bonds and other fixed-income products, a condition for the transaction. The London exchange said that was a “disproportionate” remedy and would not commit to it.

Deutsche Börse said that it would wait for more information from the commission and that it expected a decision by the end of March, The Financial Times reports.

The Campaign Against Herbalife

William A. Ackman is sensitive to stereotypes about profiteering. In a New Yorker article, he pitches his activism as a public good and argues that short selling is a way of pointing out issues that regulators might not have the resources to find.

But when it came to his costly campaign against Herbalife, Mr. Ackman didn’t want to lead the way. He wasn’t sure whether, with the amount of money that his firm, Pershing Square, would have to spend just on legal advice, it was a lucrative enough proposal.

But then David Einhorn, the founder of the hedge fund Greenlight Capital, questioned Herbalife on an earnings call and Mr. Ackman saw his opportunity.

“We assumed that Einhorn would be carrying the flag, and we could just ride his coattails,” Mr. Ackman told The New Yorker.

“We usually do all the work, so I’m, like, finally, we can let David do all the work, and we’ll make…

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