European stock market operator Euronext has won clearance from Norway's Ministry of Finance to buy up to 100% of Oslo Bors.
The move pushes Euronext, which owns the Dublin Stock Exchange, closer to victory over Nasdaq in its bid to buy Oslo Bors.
"Euronext welcomes the ministry's clearance to acquire up to 100% of Oslo Børs VPS's capital and looks forward to completing the next steps to close the transaction by the end of June," its chief executive Stéphane Boujnah said.
Euronext and Nasdaq have been engaged in a bid battle since December to buy control of Norway's Oslo Bors, which is one of the last independent stock market operators in Europe.
Both had offered 158 Norwegian crowns per share for Oslo Bors, valuing Oslo Bors at around 6.8 billion Norwegian crowns ($779m, but the view of the Norwegian government was crucial.
"Euronext looks forward to supporting the Norwegian financial and business community, to working constructively with all key constituents and stakeholders to further drive the success of Oslo Børs VPS," Boujnah said.
Nasdaq expressed its disappointment at the decision by the government, and said it would assess its options over what to do next regarding Oslo Bors.
"While the Ministry of Finance has confirmed that Nasdaq is a suitable owner of Oslo Børs VPS in accordance with the applicable Norwegian statutory requirements, the decision not to require a two-thirds majority of the shares to be obtained by any person seeking to acquire control of Oslo Børs VPS is disappointing," said Lauri Rosendahl, president of Nasdaq Nordic.