EU competition regulators have approved London Stock Exchange’s $27bn (£20bn) takeover of Refinitiv, clearing the way for a major new rival to Bloomberg.
The European Commission today said its investigation had raised a number of concerns about the deal, but that these would be addressed by a number of remedies.
These include LSE’s €4.3bn sale of Borsa Italiana, which has been agreed with pan-European exchange Euronext, and continued access to its clearing services and other data.
“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 EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager.
“Today, we can approve the proposed acquisition of Refinitiv by LSEG because LSEG offered commitments that will ensure that the markets will remain open and competitive and the acquisition will not lead to higher prices or less choice and innovation for these products.”
The decision brings to an end a lengthy regulatory review of the blockbuster all-share deal, which will see Refinitiv owner Blackstone take a stake in LSE.
Authorities had been concerned that the tie-up would give the London bourse too much control over market data, allowing it to give preferential treatment to customers or block out rivals completely.
As part of the agreed remedies, LSE will continue to offer its global over-the-counter interest rate derivatives clearing services on an open-access basis. It will also provide access to the LSE venue data, FTSE UK Equity Indices, and WM/R FX Benchmarks to all existing and future downstream competitors.
LSE has committed to these remedies for the next 10 years.
The deal reflects the surging scope and value of financial market data as clients look to get ahead of their rivals.
The merger will bolster LSE’s financial data offering, eclipsing the newly-combined S&P and IHS Markit and creating a significant new rival to market leader Bloomberg.