The European Commission has approved new licensing proposals from Thomson Reuters for the use of Reuters Instrument Codes (RICs), ending a prolonged anti-trust investigation.
The new licensing deal from the global information provider removes previous restrictions placed on the use of RICs for cross-mapping against datafeeds from rival suppliers.
The Commission opened anti-trust proceedings against Thomson Reuters in 2009 over possible abuse of its dominant position in RICs licensing. The vendor initially agreed to let customers license RICs for mapping purposes over a five-year period for a monthly fee based on the number of RIC symbols to be used. However the Commission rejected the remedy following market tests and called for further revisions.
Under the new licensing deal, financial institutions that use RICs will now be able to switch without needing to rewrite their applications to remove RICs, under a five-year subscription that can be extended into perpetuity.
The commitments also allow third parties to develop and maintain a switching tool that allows RICs and rival services to interoperate, by translating RICs into the financial identifiers of other datafeed providers. Subject to a monthly license fee, third party developers can use and keep RICs in the switching tools they develop.
Commission vice-president in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia commented: "The commitments offered by Thomson Reuters will enhance competition in this market. Financial institutions that use Reuters Instrument Codes will now be able to switch to alternative providers more easily."
He says the Commission will appoint an independent trustee to monitor Thomson Reuters' compliance with the commitments.