The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened a consultation on undertakings proposed by S&P Global Inc. (S&P) and IHS Markit Ltd. (IHSM) to address competition concerns over the anticipated acquisition by S&P of IHSM.
On 19 October 2021, the CMA announced that it would refer the acquisition for an in-depth investigation unless S&P and IHSM offered acceptable undertakings to address the CMA’s concerns.
To address the CMA’s concerns, S&P and IHSM have offered to undertakings to divest IHSM’s: (i) Coal, Metals and Mining division; (ii) Oil Price Information Service business , which includes Petrochem Wire; and (iii) Base Chemicals business.
On 26 October 2021, the CMA announced that it would look in detail at these undertakings. The CMA has until 25 February 2022 to consider whether to accept the undertakings, or a modified version of them. As part of this process, the CMA is now consulting publicly on whether the proposals are sufficient to address the CMA’s competition concerns.
Before reaching a final decision, the CMA is therefore inviting interested parties to make their views known. The deadline for responses is 1 February 2022.
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.