The German company, which controls the Frankfurt stock exchange, will be in the driver's seat despite the importance of the much larger equity market in New York.
“This transaction brings together two of the most respected and successful exchange operators in the world,” said Deutsche Börse boss Reto Francioni in a statement.
The supervisory boards in Frankfurt and New York backed the merger earlier in the day with the aim of building a dominant global player capable of tapping booming Asian markets.
“We expect that the combined group will be a highly attractive partner for capital markets in Asia-Pacific and other parts of the world,” said Francioni.
Shareholders of Deutsche Börse will hold 60 percent of the merged company owing to its larger market capitalization. The Germans will also control 10 of the 17 positions on the newly formed board. The deal still needs regulatory approval.
Francioni will become chairman while the NYSE Euronext's Duncan Niederauer will take over as the new group's CEO.
“Reto and I are committed to bringing together the best of both organizations to create the premier global exchange group and a leader in the rapidly evolving global financial arena,” said Niederauer.
The company had combined net revenues of €4.1 billion ($5.4 billion) in 2010 and will have dual headquarters near Frankfurt and New York City.
A sticking point to the deal had been the firm's new name – with some on the American side apparently concerned about avoiding what could look like a German takeover of Wall Street. Though each regional stock market will continue to operate under its own name, the umbrella company has been dubbed The Premier Global Exchange Group.
Deutsche Börse's shares dipped 2.41 percent to €59.85 in late Frankfurt trade following the announcement.