The London Stock Exchange Group is reportedly set to file its $27bn (£20.8bn) deal to buy financial data group Refinitiv with EU antitrust authorities, following extensive discussions with Brussels over the scope of its investigation into the merger.
The two sides have not yet resolved the issue of what constitutes “the market” against which the merger should be assessed, according to the Financial Times, which cited two people familiar with the talks.
The definition settled on by authorities is crucial to whether deals receive clearance from the EU’s competition authorities.
The all-share deal, which was originally announced in August, would triple the London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) revenues to £7bn, and would create new income streams for the group from data distribution, analytics and indices.
LSE shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the tie-up in November, with over 99 per cent of voting investors backing the acquisition of Refinitiv from a consortium led by private equity giant Blackstone.
The companies are yet to notify the European Commission of the deal, which is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.
Even if Brussels conducts a more extensive investigation into the tie-up, it is still widely expected to go ahead.
Boss David Schwimmer has presented the deal to LSE investors as a way of increasing the group’s presence in the US, as well as securing expansion into Asia and other emerging markets.
A spokesperson for the European Commission said: “This transaction has not been formally notified to the Commission. It is up to the companies to assess if they need to notify a transaction to the Commission.”
LSE and Refinitiv declined to comment on the reports.