European fund managers and market data user groups have launched a complaint with the Swiss competition authorities over alleged "illegal" Isin licensing practices by Standard & Poor's in Switzerland.
In May last year, S&P agreed to cut the prices it charges for the distribution of International Securities Identification Numbers in the EU, following a two-year probe by the European Commission into allegations of abusive pricing and monopoly practices. This was followed in November by the announcement of plans to introduce a stripped-down feed of basic data to European market participants by April 2012
The European Fund and Asset Management Association (Efama) says the new pricing scheme will save market participants approximately $100 million per annum in Isin license fees.
However, S&P has yet to extend the package to non-EU member states, creating a two-tier system.
In a statement, the fund management lobby group has called on S&P to address user complaints: "Efama deplores that S&P has failed to cooperate voluntarily with the financial services industry in the EU in the past and still does not want to address valid user concerns."
It has joined with local trade groups BVI and Cossium and the Information Providers User Group to launch a formal complaint in Switzerland with the Wettbewerbskommission competition watchdog.
"The associations are confident that the new complaint will succeed and that S&P will be required to stop the illegal Isin licensing practice in Switzerland too," says Efama.