NEW YORK (AP) -- The owner of the New York Stock Exchange is considering a bid for the London Stock Exchange, looking to potentially thwart the London exchange's merger talks with Deutsche Boerse.
Last month London Stock Exchange Group PLC said that it was holding discussions with Deutsche Boerse over a possible tie up. Two previous attempts to combine the European exchanges, in 2000 and 2004, failed.
On Tuesday, Intercontinental Exchange Inc., which owns the NYSE, said that it has yet to decide whether to pursue an offer and hasn't reached out to LSE's board.
A firm intention to move forward in a bid for the London exchange must be made known by March 29, ICE said, to comply with industry rules.
Shares of the LSE finished with a gain of 7.2 percent in London on the prospect of a bidding war. Shares of Intercontinental Exchange Inc. fell $8.99, or 3.8 percent, to $229.47 in midday trading.
There has been an increasing number of stock exchange mergers since the mid-2000s.
In 2006 the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and CBOT Holdings Inc. agreed to combine, and the New York Stock Exchange acquired Euronext NV and Archipelago Holdings.
A year later Nasdaq and Borse Dubai reached a deal to take over Nordic stock exchange operator OMX AB, with Borse Dubai buying OMX and transferring ownership to Nasdaq in return for almost 20 percent stake in the new company and Nasdaq's 28 percent stake in London Stock Exchange.
Also in 2007, CME Group Inc. acquired NYMEX Holdings Inc. ICE closed on its buyout of NYSE Euronext in 2013.