BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission gave unconditional approval to IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) to buy NYSE Euronext for $8.2 billion on Monday, in a deal strengthening ICE's presence in the lucrative derivatives trading business.

The EU regulator said its investigation into the merger found it would not raise antitrust concerns, as the two exchanges are not direct competitors. Reuters reported last week that approval would be given unconditionally.

"The market investigation revealed that they do not exert a greater potential competitive threat on each other compared to other exchanges. Any anticompetitive effects can therefore be excluded," the Commission said in a statement.

(Reporting by Ethan Bilby; editing by Rex Merrifield)

Source