The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today provided a brief update on its investigation into the acquisition of IHS Markit Ltd by S&P Global Inc.
The CMA says that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the undertakings offered by S&P Global Inc. and IHS Markit Ltd., or a modified version of them, might be accepted by the CMA under the Enterprise Act 2002.
Last week, the CMA said it would clear S&P’s merger with IHS Markit if competition concerns in certain commodity price assessments were addressed.
S&P Global Inc is a worldwide supplier of credit ratings, commodity price assessments, analytics, financial indices, and market data. Its products are mainly used in the capital and commodity sectors. IHS Markit is a leading provider of information, analytics and solutions to business, finance and government clients.
In a highly detailed Phase 1 investigation, the CMA investigated a range of concerns across the broad range of complex financial markets in which the merging businesses are active. This investigation ultimately uncovered only limited competition concerns, for the most part because the merging businesses’ activities were found to be complementary in nature or, where both are active, their combined presence was found to be relatively small.
The CMA did, however, find that the merger could lead to competition concerns in a limited number of markets in which the merging businesses’ combined presence is more significant: the supply of price assessments of biofuels, coal, oil, and petrochemicals in the UK. Within each of these markets, the CMA found that S&P and IHS Markit have a significant combined presence, compete closely with one another and would face only limited competition after the merger.
Yesterday, the European Commission approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of IHS Markit by S&P Global. The approval is conditional on the divestment of businesses in the areas of commodity price assessments and financial data.