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EU to accept concessions, end RICs probe - report

EU anti-trust regulators plan to accept revised Thomson Reuters proposals to end an investigation into whether its control over its financial instrument codes was anti-competitive, Reuters said on Monday.

In a report from Brussels, it said two people familiar with the matter who were not from inside Thomson Reuters said the decision meant the company would not be penalised and the investigation would be dropped.

The EU Commission had expressed concern that Thomson Reuters may have abused its dominant position in financial data by preventing customers from using Reuters Instrument Codes to get data from rivals and cross-reference them.

The case, opened in October 2009, is part of an effort by EU regulators to ensure traders and other users can get access to financial data at reasonable rates and be able to switch to competing services.

The company has offered various concessions, including lower licence fees for using the codes, that would now be accepted.

The Commission and Thomson Reuters competitors argued that the company’s control of access to RICs to tag stocks, bonds and other financial instruments reduced competition in the market for financial data.

A Thomson Reuters spokeswoman said: “Thomson Reuters has been working closely with the European Commission to come to a mutually acceptable outcome and looks forward to resolving this matter as soon as possible.” ■