The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a statement of objections to Artemis Investment Management, Hargreave Hale, Newton Investment Management and River & Mercantile Asset Management in the first case where the regulator is using its competition enforcement powers, as it believes the firms may have broken competition law.
The FCA alleges that the four firms shared information by disclosing the price they intended to pay, accepting such information, or both, in relation to Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and placings, shortly before share prices were set.
In first case of the FCA using its competition enforcement powers, the regulator said in a statement, “The sharing generally occurred on a bilateral basis and allowed firms to know the other’s plans during the IPO or placing process when they should have been competing for shares.”
While the FCA can levy financial penalties as high as 10% of global revenue, antitrust regulators in the UK and European Union rarely issue fines that large. The FCA was given competition powers for the first time in 2015.
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