EU clears LSE acquisition of Refinitiv, subject to conditions

FILE PHOTO: The Refinitiv logo is seen on a screen in offices in Canary Wharf in London, Britain August 1, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators have cleared the London Stock Exchange’s $27 billion acquisition of data company Refinitiv, subject to a number of conditions including the sale of its Borsa Italiana operations.

The European Commission, which oversees competition policy in the 27-nation European Union, said on Wednesday that the purchase had been approved after its investigation found a number of concerns.

To address them, the LSE Group (LSEG) has agreed to divest its 99.9% stake in the Borsa Italiana group and to continue offering its global over-the-counter interest rate derivative (OTC IRD) clearing services performed by LCH Swapclear on an open access basis.

It has also agreed to provide access to the LSE venue data, FTSE UK Equity Indices, and WM/R FX benchmarks to all existing and future downstream competitors.

The duration of the OTC IRD and financial data commitments is 10 years.

“The commitments offered by LSEG fully address the competition concerns raised by the proposed transaction,” the Commission said in a statement.

“The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns.”

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