LSE Offers Concessions to EU’s Refinitiv Deal Probe

In a Thursday’s filing, the European Commission has revealed that the London Stock Exchange (LSE) has offered concessions to the European Union antitrust regulators to address the concerns over the Refinitiv acquisition, Reuters reported.

With this move, the commission will have until January 15 to decide on the landmark acquisition. Earlier, this deadline was set for December 16.

The LSE moved to acquire financial data provider Refinitiv last year, but faced an anti-trust probe in the EU over concerns that the takeover may reduce competition in trading and clearing of various financial instruments and financial data products.

“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,” an earlier notification from the European regulator stated.

“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.”

An Ambitious Acquisition Deal for LSE

While the EU regulator is hesitating to give a green light, the LSE received a go-ahead for the deal from a US regulatory panel.

However, the London-based markets operator is determined to finalize the acquisition of Refinitiv and to pave its way, sold its holdings in the Borsa Italiana to its European competitor Euronext for $5 billion.

This move significantly reduces LSE’s share in the trading market that might ease the regulator’s view on the company for antitrust after the Refinitiv acquisition. Notably, the Refinitiv deal is expected to be closed for $27 billion.

Meanwhile, the LSE is now expecting to close the Refinitiv acquisition within the first quarter of 2021.

“We are making good progress on the highly attractive Refinitiv transaction, having secured further regulatory approvals around the world,” LSEG CEO, David Schwimmer said last month. “We continue to engage constructively with the European Commission and believe the potential divestment of the Borsa Italiana group will contribute significantly to addressing the EU’s competition concerns.”

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