Singapore’s competition authority has raised concerns about the London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) proposed $27bn (£21.6bn) acquisition of financial data provider Refinitiv.
In an initial review, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) cited concerns about the provision of foreign exchange benchmarks by the merged entity, saying it would need to conduct a second phase review to consider the matter in detail.
“Third-party feedback revealed concerns as to whether the merged entity will continue to supply foreign exchange benchmarks at fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms to rival providers,” CCCS said.
LSE and Refinitiv both declined to comment on the CCCS announcement.
The LSE first announced plans to merge with Refinitiv, which is 45 per cent owned by Reuters, last year.
US regulators gave the $27bn deal the go ahead in March, but EU antitrust regulators have launched a four-month investigation into the merger, warning last month that the acquisition could have a negative effect on competition.
CCCS said it was unable to determine at this stage whether competitors would be able to mitigate the risk of foreclosure by the merged entity of access to the WM/R foreign exchange benchmarks, which are administered by Refinitiv.
The watchdog said that if the proposed merger went ahead, Refinitiv’s affiliation with LSE may reduce its incentive to continue the supply of inputs to rival providers”.
CCCS also said there was insufficient information to determine if the competition concerns could be addressed through any existing regulations overseas.