LSE-Deutsche Boerse Merger

Is this like a normal merger of two companies?

What are an Exchange’s assets then? How do they make money? I am thinking commissions and bid/ask spreads but aren’t these absorbed by independent brokers and dealers? And the fact that the resulting company will be a public company floated on “an exchange” reminds me of a snake eating its tail.

Yes. Exchanges charge fees to participants. Their assets are primarily the technology that makes it all work. Look at the financials of the TMX Group if you want a clear picture of the business (publicly traded exchange).