The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has been given the green light from European Union regulators on its $27bn acquisition of Refinitiv paving the way for the UK exchange to challenge the likes of Bloomberg and S&P Global in the provision of financial data.
The deal, which has been heavily scrutinised over the past year the EU's anti-trust regulator, is subject to a number of commitments from the LSE that include the €4.3bn sale of Borsa Italiana to Euronext which was agreed last October.
In particular, there were concerns about the LSE’s position in bond market trading with the LSE owning the MTS Platform and Refinitiv owning Tradeweb, however, the sale of Borsa Italiana “fully removes” any overlap, the European Commission said.
The UK exchange has also agreed to continue offering over-the-counter interest rate derivative clearing services by LCH Swapclear on an open access basis for the next 10 years.
Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president at the European Commission, said: “We can approve the proposed acquisition of Refinitiv by LSE because LSE 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 LSE added the deal, which will complete later this quarter, remained subject to a “small number” of merger control and financial regulatory authority approvals.
Meanwhile, Euronext said the Borsa Italiana acquisition, which remains subject to regulatory approval in several jurisdictions, would complete in the first half of the year.