EU Approves LSE’s $27B Refinitiv Deal

EU antitrust regulators gave the green light on Wednesday, January 13, to the London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) US$27 billion takeover of Refinitiv, creating a stronger competitor to financial data leader Bloomberg, reported the Financial Times

The market for financial information has exploded with the advent of computer-driven trading, triggering a flurry of takeovers as companies seek to create one-stop shops to serve clients and get an edge over traditional rivals in supplying data, dubbed the “new oil”.

The European Commission, which oversees competition policy in the 27-nation European Union, said its investigation found a number of concerns about the deal but that they would be addressed by “remedies,” including the sale of LSE’s Borsa Italiana, which runs the Milan Stock Exchange.

“Infrastructure competition in trading services and access to financial data products on fair and equal terms is essential for the European economy and in particular for consumers and businesses,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition chief.

A combined LSE and Refinitiv will still be eclipsed by Bloomberg LP, but will outrank a combination of S&P and IHS Markit, whose US$44 billion tie-up was announced last year.