By Sarah McFarlane
LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Traders and brokers on NYSE Liffe
soft agricultural commodity markets met this week to discuss
fears IntercontinentalExchange's planned takeover of
their contracts may create a near monopoly and hike trading
fees, sources who were present said.
ICE's interest in Liffe's parent, NYSE Euronext, was
announced in December when details of an $8.2 billion deal
emerged. The deal still requires regulatory
The ICE and Liffe exchanges together make up the vast
majority of global cocoa, coffee and sugar derivatives trading,
but dealers said fees on ICE are considerably higher.
The meeting took place on Wednesday in London, two sources
who had attended said on Friday.
"The meeting was convened out of a shared concern as to what
the implications of this takeover were, and there was a degree
of unease that one exchange would hold a monopoly across those
products," one of the sources said.
"What was taken from that meeting is there seems to be
enough people concerned about this to have a proper
ICE declined to comment.
The source was unable to give a time line for the group's
next steps, other than to say they would now seek input from
other market users.
Soft commodities are a sideshow to the larger logic behind
the ICE deal, which would propel the exchange into European
financial futures and help it to take on rival CME Group
ICE, which was founded in 2000 and whose main operations are
in energy futures, added the softs complex - arabica coffee,
cocoa, raw sugar, frozen concentrated orange juice and cotton -
in 2007 when it bought the New York Board of Trade.
(Additional reporting by Nigel Hunt)
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