LSEG’s acquisition of Refinitiv conditionally approved by the European Commission

On 13 January 2021, the European Commission (EC) conditionally cleared London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) acquisition of Refinitiv. LSEG operates trading venues such as the London Stock Exchange, clearing houses such as LCH and also publishes the FTSE Russell indices. Refinitiv (a spin-off from Thomson Reuters) offers financial data products, such as desktop services and data feeds.

While the EC was also concerned about the horizontal overlap in the trading of cash bonds, the main concerns the EC investigated in Phase II were vertical theories of harm in (i) over-the-counter Interest Rate Derivatives (IRD) trading and clearing; (ii) LSEG data as inputs into desktops and data feeds offered by Refinitiv); and (iii) Refinitiv FX benchmarks as inputs into index licensing (where FTSE Russell is active).

CRA has submitted an equilibrium model to the EC in the IRD trading and clearing markets on behalf of the parties to address the EC’s concerns and also supported the parties in addressing the EC’s vertical concerns in the other markets. In addition, CRA supported Refinitiv in other jurisdictions such as Australia and Singapore among others.

CRA advised Refinitiv. The European Commission’s decision is available under case M.9564.