PLUS Markets, a UK stock exchange specialising in listing and trading small- and mid-cap stocks, has issued proceedings in the UK High Court against the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
The proceedings challenge the rule that prevents PLUS-Europe members that are also members of the LSE from executing trades in stocks listed on AIM – its small-and mid-cap board – on a non-LSE market.
PLUS-Europe is PLUS’s new pan-European equity market, formed in conjunction with Bayerische Börse, the operator of Germany’s Munich Stock Exchange.
PLUS says it considers the rule to be anti-competitive and is seeking a High Court declaration that the rule is null and void, or otherwise unenforceable.
“PLUS believes that the rule is unnecessary and disproportionate and the burden of demonstrating otherwise rests with the LSE. Consequently, it is PLUS’s case that the rule represents an abuse of the LSE’s dominant position,” said Jamie Whitehorn, PLUS’s director of regulatory strategy, in a statement.
PLUS announced the High Court proceedings along with its results for the six months to June 2008. Over the period, PLUS said it had achieved a monthly market share of up to 50% of UK small- and mid-cap equities. Revenues were slightly down at £1.6 million, compared with £1.68 million in the same period in 2007.