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UK Antitrust Watchdog Raises LSE, Quantile Deal Concerns

 |  May 3, 2022

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened its investigation into London Stock Exchange Group PLC’s (LSEG) anticipated acquisition of Quantile Group Limited (Quantile) in March 2022.

LSEG is an international financial markets infrastructure and data business which holds a majority shareholding in the LCH clearing house group. A clearing house helps reduce the costs and risks of a transaction between a buyer and seller in a financial market, by standardising the steps leading up to payment.

Quantile also helps financial institutions to reduce risk in transactions, along with their overall regulatory costs, including through specific services such as multilateral compression for financial institutions dealing with derivative instruments.

Multilateral compression providers for over-the-counter interest rate derivatives depend on LCH to help build compression proposals for trades cleared at LCH. The CMA is concerned that after the acquisition of Quantile, LCH could refuse to allow third party compression providers to provide these services. LCH could also provide support to Quantile’s rivals in multilateral compression on worse terms. This could potentially lead to reduced competition in UK financial services, which is a key employer and contributor to GDP.

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