Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext defended their proposed merger Wednesday, as they received the EU Competition Commission\'s letter of concerns about the deal. The Frankfurt and New York exchange operators said they had received the official \"Statement of Objections\", calling it \"a normal step\" that set out the EU commission\'s \"provisional position\" that \"does not prejudge the final outcome of the case.\" \"We continue to strongly believe that our combination provides substantial capital and cost savings to users; advances the goal of a unified, liquid EU capital market for raising money and managing risk; and does not materially alter the competitive landscape,\" the two said in a statement. The proposed merger has sparked controversy in the US because it would hand over the 221-year-old New York Stock Exchange to foreign owners and create a powerful force in 24-hour global trading of shares and derivatives. Deutsche Boerse shareholders would own 60 percent of the new combined, Netherlands-incorporated firm, and the German company will dominate the new board. Shareholders controlling more than 80 percent of German stock market operator Deutsche Boerse approved the deal on July 14 after NYSE Euronext shareholders gave their blessing. The combined stock market operator would be a company valued at $25 billion (18.3 billion euros).