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NEW YORK — The New York Stock Exchange and German exchange Deutsche Boerse called off their planned merger Thursday, a day after the European Union said it would block the union because of concerns about a monopoly.

The two exchanges announced in February 2011 they would merge in a $10 billion deal. But the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, said the combined company would control 90 percent of the trading of some financial products in Europe.

The European decision was a blow to the combined dreams of Deutsche Boerse AG and NYSE Euronext, the NYSE’s parent company. They had hoped to compete better with other large exchanges in the U.S. and Asia.

In the U.S., the planned merger made waves because it would have meant foreign control of the storied trading floor at 11 Wall St. in New York. Despite political opposition to the deal, it got the green light from regulators in the U.S.

In Europe, however, the regulatory discussions revolved around control.


Vending company’s CFO cited in $3M Pepsi fraud

NEWARK — The chief financial officer of a vending company was a key player in a conspiracy to defraud Pepsi Bottling Group of nearly $3 million over a 10-year period, according to a federal indictment unsealed Thursday.

Joseph Belasco, 62, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, five counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 20 years in prison for each count and ordered to pay fines totaling $1.75 million and forfeit an additional $4 million.

Prosecutors say Mr. Belasco worked with a Pepsi sales representative, his wife and another executive in Mr. Belasco’s firm, Culinary Ventures Vending in a long-running scheme. The others haven’t been charged with any crimes, and their names weren’t disclosed in the court filings.

According to the federal grand jury indictment, Impact Marketing, a subsidiary of Culinary Ventures, was to be paid for providing Pepsi with leads for new customers. But in the scam, the indictment said, the company got credit for finding customers who already sold Pepsi products or were found by Pepsi representatives rather than Culinary Ventures.

From wire dispatches and staff reports