Thomson Reuters looks to settle EC data antitrust case

Thomson Reuters looks to settle EC data antitrust case

Thomson Reuters has offered concessions in the way it licenses the proprietary Reuters Instrument Codes (RICs) in a bid to settle an EU antitrust investigation.

In 2009 the European Commission opened antitrust proceedings against Thomson Reuters over possible abuse of its dominant market position in the supply of RICs - codes that identify securities and are used by financial institutions to retrieve data from Thomson Reuters' real-time feeds.

The EC argued that the firm could be abusing its dominant position in the market for these consolidated real-time datafeeds by stopping customers from using RICs for retrieving data from alternative providers and mapping them for such a purpose to alternative symbols.

Thomson Reuters has now moved to appease the Commission by agreeing to let customers license RICs for the purpose of switching and to use them for retrieving data from other providers against a license fee. Licenses would be available to interested customers for EEA operations for five years, for a monthly fee based on the number of RIC symbols to be used.

The EC is now asking other market players for comments by 25 January and if the concessions are received favourably, Thomson Reuters' offer could become a legally binding commitment.

Joaquín Almunia, Commission VP in charge of competition policy, says: "The Commitments proposed by Thomson Reuters should allow financial institutions to switch more easily between different providers of financial data and stimulate competition between data vendors."

In May, the EC settled a similar financial data probe with Standard & Poor's, which agreed to cut the prices it charges for the distribution of International Securities Identification Numbers, following a two-year probe into allegations of abusive pricing and monopoly practices.

Comments: (1)

Bruno  Schütterle
Bruno Schütterle - B.F.Schütterle - Kilchberg 20 April, 2012, 18:27Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The EC's market testing has failed to receive any acceptance of a RIC licence in March 2012. The industry in Europe including Switzerland was overhelmingly against it.

Now the EC Commission might fine under their EC antitrust rules TR ( up to a max of 10% on turnover) and or TR offers a free last minute global usage for the TRRIC to the EC Commission.

So the extended RIC licence (ERL) is off the table implementing 10 years and or more licence fee for different business activities of a financial institute. Btw netting of the RIC accross licence items was forbidden.

A multi billion £ ticket for the European financial industry and the consumer.

This ERL would have come on top of terminal fees, data licence fees for RT data. It would have been just around the corner that the back office area hence non real time data would have been brought under the ERL concept for non real time data by means of TR Business Principles adjustments- including settlement process fees!

Be aware that TRBP are one sided adjustments in favor of TR never the customer! They form part of TRSC. The TRBP are legally not correct and should be abolished immediately.

So one further night mare on the global fight on identification codes cost such as US ISIN has disappeared. And BB has quite cleverly profited on its BBUID initiative to be closer to the consumer.

Lets wait on the EC decision on TR RIC!