European Commission halts probe into LSEG’s Refinitiv acquisition as it awaits data

The probe into LSEG’s takeover of Refinitiv has been halted by the European Commission while it awaits the delivery of requested data from both institutions.

An investigation by European authorities into the London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) landmark $27 billion acquisition of Refinitiv has been paused as both parties are yet to provide requested data.

The European Commission confirmed today that it has stopped its investigation into the mega-merger as it awaits the requested data from the companies. The investigation came last month amid concerns the deal would dampen competition in trading and clearing.

“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,” said executive vice president of the European Commission, Margreth Vestager, in a statement at the time. “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.”

The European Commission has until 27 October to make a decision on the acquisition as it outlined preliminary concerns with the deal that will combine Refinitiv’s data and trading platforms with LSEG’s services.

News of the investigation in Europe of LSEG’s takeover of Refinitiv was followed by a statement from the competition authority in Singapore that it would also advance its probe of the deal. The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) moved to phase two of its review of the acquisition, stating it cannot determine that access to key foreign exchange benchmarks would not be implicated by the transaction.

In March, LSEG gained approval for its acquisition of Refinitiv from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which concluded its review and found no concerns with the proposed deal.

LSEG said at the time it remains committed to closing the landmark acquisition during the second half of this year, despite noting the European Commission’s move to encourage the delay of merger filings in light of measures around the coronavirus pandemic.