UK competition regulator invites comments on ION/Broadway deal remedy

Maria Nikolova

The CMA has until November 11, 2020 to consider whether to accept the undertakings offered by ION.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened a consultation on undertakings proposed by ION Investment Group Limited (ION) to address competition concerns over its acquisition of Broadway Technology Holdings LLC.

On July 7, 2020, the regulator announced that it would refer the acquisition for an in-depth investigation unless ION offered acceptable undertakings to address the CMA’s concerns. On July 14, 2020, ION offered undertakings in lieu of reference to the CMA.

On July 21, 2020, the CMA announced that it considers there are reasonable grounds for believing that the undertakings offered, or a modified version of them, might be accepted by the CMA.

The regulator has until November 11, 2020 to consider whether to accept the undertakings, or a modified version of them. As part of this process, the CMA is now consulting publicly on whether the proposals are sufficient to address the CMA’s competition concerns.

Before reaching a final decision, the CMA is therefore inviting interested parties to make their views known. The deadline for responses is October 10, 2020.

In February 2020, ION announced a recapitalization of provider of high-performance capital markets solutions Broadway Technology, in which ION acquired a controlling stake alongside Long Ridge Equity Partners and the Broadway founders. Both companies provide specialist trading systems to financial organisations, such as banks, that allows the trading of foreign exchange (FX) and fixed income securities (FI) such as government bonds.

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