Markit, ISDA offer concessions to settle EU antitrust charges

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 28, 2016 5:51 AM

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Data company Markit and trade body ISDA have offered concessions in a bid to settle EU antitrust charges and stave off possible fines, the European Commission said on Thursday.

The competition authority three years ago charged the two companies and 13 banks with blocking Deutsche Boerse <DB1Gn.DE> from the lucrative credit derivatives market in 2007 and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 2008.

The Commission dropped the banks from the case in December last year because of insufficient evidence but Markit and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), which represents firms involved in the derivatives market, remained in its sights.

ISDA has offered to license its rights in the final price for credit derivatives on fair and reasonable terms, and is willing to use an arbitrator to resolve disagreements.

Its chief executive and not its board of directors will now decide on licensing the final price, which results from auctions run to determine the settlement price for credit swaps trade.

Markit pledged to license its rights in the iTraxx and CDX indices on fair and reasonable terms and will also reduce the banks' influence in its advisory committees.

Third parties have a month to provide feedback before the Commission decides whether to accept the two offers. The case is one of several in the financial industry which have resulted in billion-euro fines to date.

(Editing by Julia Fioretti and Ed Osmond)