London Stock Exchange in talks on possible sale of its interest in MTS or Borsa Italiana as a whole

Maria Nikolova

There can be no certainty that LSEG will decide to proceed with a transaction relating to either of these businesses.

London Stock Exchange Group plc (LSEG) today provided an update on its planned acquisition of Refinitiv.

In the context of the European Commission’s Phase II review, LSEG confirms that it has commenced exploratory discussions which may result in a sale of LSEG’s interest in MTS or potentially the Borsa Italiana group as a whole. There can be no certainty that LSEG will decide to proceed with a transaction relating to either of these businesses.

LSEG also confirms today that the United States Department of Justice has closed its antitrust investigation of the transaction without remedies. LSEG has received a number of other antitrust and foreign investment approvals and continues to make progress in relation to the remaining clearances and approvals upon which the Transaction is also conditional.

LSEG expects to close the Refinitiv transaction by the end of 2020 or early in 2021.

On June 22, 2020, the European Commission today announced the launch of an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of Refinitiv by LSEG. The Commission is concerned that the proposed acquisition may reduce competition in trading and clearing of various financial instruments and in financial data products.

The proposed transaction combines major trading venues where electronic trading of bonds of the European Economic Area (EEA), UK, and Swiss governments takes place. These venues include LSEG’s MTS and Refinitiv’s Tradeweb. This would result in a very large combined market share in the electronic trading of European Government Bonds, the Commission says. The market investigation indicates that the parties own venues with a leading position in the market, and are close competitors in this space, in particular regarding trading between dealers and investors. The market investigation also suggests that it is difficult for a new trading venue to attract clients in sufficient numbers and become a real alternative to incumbent venues.

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