EU to Clear LSE’s $27 Billion Refinitiv Acquisition Deal

Merged LSE-Refinitiv will become the second-largest financial data provider.

The European Union is moving to clear the $27 billion Refinitiv acquisition deal by the London Stock Exchange (LSE) after spending months in an anti-trust probe, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

“Two people familiar with the matter,” revealed this ahead of the deadline of January 15 for the European Commission’s decision on the acquisition deal.

Both LSE and Refinitiv agreed on the acquisition deal in August 2019 and received the green light from the US and the UK financial market regulators. However, the European Commission raised anti-trust concerns and initiated a probe.

Indeed, if the deal goes through, the merged entity will become one of the largest financial data providers, only behind the market leader, Bloomberg LP.

Earlier this year, the LSE sold all its stake in Italy’s leading stock exchange to European rival Euronext and offered to allow competitors to use its data services for the next ten years. Both of them are part of concessions to get clearance for the Refinitiv deal.

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However, it is not clear if the concessions have influenced the decision making of the EU anti-trust committee.

Receiving clearance at this stage will help the LSE parent to close that deal within its targeted deadline of the first quarter of next year.

The Race to Dominate Financial Data

The demand for financial data services skyrocketed in the last couple of decades. This resulted in the spawning of many companies, however, age-old Bloomberg has still remained the leader.

Meanwhile, S&P Global is moving towards purchasing IHS Markit Ltd for $44 billion. Both these companies are leading data service providers and a merger between them would create a giant, but it will be still behind the market share of merged LSE-Refinitiv.

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