Competition – news story

CMA considers undertakings in broker merger

The CMA will consider in detail undertakings offered by Tullett and ICAP instead of referring their merger for an in-depth investigation.

Earlier this month, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that Tullett Prebon plc’s (Tullett) anticipated acquisition of ICAP plc’s (ICAP) voice/hybrid broking business would be referred for an in-depth phase 2 investigation - unless the companies were able to offer undertakings which address the CMA’s competition concerns in relation to broking of oil products.

To address this, the companies have offered to sell ICAP’s London-based oil desks (with key staff) responsible for providing broking services to customers based in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to an up-front purchaser(s) approved by the CMA.

The CMA will now consider whether to accept the proposed undertakings and will open a public consultation on whether they - and any proposed purchaser(s) for the divestment assets - are sufficient to address the competition concerns. If the CMA does not accept the undertakings, it will refer the merger for a phase 2 investigation.

The CMA now has until 16 August 2016 to decide whether to accept the undertakings, with the possibility to extend this timeframe if it considers that there are special reasons for doing so.

Tullett and ICAP are leading global interdealer brokers, companies that typically sit between investment banks helping to find buyers and sellers of large securities. ICAP is selling its voice/hybrid broking and information businesses to Tullett.