The US Securities and Exchange Commission announced its approval Friday of the takeover of exchange operator NYSE Euronext by the IntercontinentalExchange. The US markets regulator cleared the way for the long-pending tie-up, which would create what the two say will be the \"premier global exchange operator.\" Shareholders of NYSE Euronext approved the $8.2 billion takeover by ICE in June, and European authorities signed off on it shortly afterward. NYSE Euronext operates the New York Stock Exchange as well as bourses in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon, plus the European derivatives market Liffe. Atlanta-based ICE, which made the offer for NYSE Euronext in December, runs an online exchange trading major commodity and financial futures and options. On June 24, the European Commission approved the takeover, saying it did \"not raise competition concerns as (the two) are not direct competitors in the markets concerned and would continue to face competition from a number of other competitors.\" In 2012, the commission rejected on competition grounds a plan to combine NYSE Euronext with the German market operator Deutsche Boerse.