The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has told Intercontinental Exchange that it must not only sell Trayport but also rip a commercial agreement with the energy trading technology shop it acquired for $650 million less than two years ago. ICE says it will comply.
Following an in-depth investigation, in October the CMA decided that concerns that ICE could use its ownership of Trayport’s platform to reduce competition, leading to increased fees, were so strong that a sale of the recently acquired business was the only effective remedy.
ICE appealed to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) but lost. However, the exchange operator did secure one victory, with the CAT ruling that the CMA was wrong to force ICE to kill a deal that put its data on Trayport trading screens.
Yet now the CMA says that it stands by its decision to call for the agreement to be terminated and ICE has decided to comply. Previously it had floated the possibility of another appeal.
Says ICE: "We are disappointed by the CMA’s decision that the agreement for additional connectivity between ICE and Trayport signed in May 2016 should be terminated, thereby delaying when customers can benefit from the additional Trayport connectivity and greater access to ICE markets delivered by the suspended agreement.
"Nonetheless, we will now complete the CMA process, terminate the agreement as instructed and move forward with the divestment of Trayport expeditiously so that Trayport’s future ownership is resolved."