LONDON: EU regulators have blocked London Stock Exchange’s £21bn merger with German stock exchange Deutsche Boerse. The European Commission said the deal would have created a “de facto monopoly” for certain financial services. The merger would have combined Europe’s two largest stock exchange operators. London Stock Exchange Group said it “regrets” the commission’s decision, as the deal would have created a “world-leading” financial markets firm. The commission blocked the deal, which had already been thrown into doubt by Brexit, shortly before the UK started the formal process of leaving the European Union. It is the third time that a merger between LSE and its German rival has failed to come to fruition. They announced plans for a “merger of equals” about a year ago, following attempts by Deutsche Boerse to strike a deal with LSE in 2000 and 2004.