The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Refinitiv by the London Stock Exchange Group (“LSEG”) under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the proposed acquisition may reduce competition in trading and clearing of various financial instruments and in financial data products.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, responsible for competition policy, said “Financial markets provide an essential function for the European economy. Access to financial market infrastructure and financial data products is needed to make investment decisions, trade, and to protect savings. We have opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed transaction which will combine the activities of LSEG and Refinitiv would negatively affect competition in these markets. It is key for a well functioning financial market to ensure that market participants continue to have access to financial market infrastructure and financial data products on competitive terms.“
The proposed acquisition would combine the activities of LSEG and Refinitiv. LSEG operates trading venues (e.g. through MTS) and clearing houses. It also offers financial data products, such as trading data from the London Stock Exchange and the FTSE100 equity index. Refinitiv offers financial data products, such as desktop services and datafeeds. Refinitiv also controls Tradeweb, which operates electronic trading venues for many financial instruments.
The European Commission set an Oct. 27 deadline for its decision.