Press release

CMA provisionally clears specialist insurance merger

The CMA has provisionally cleared the completed acquisition by Xchanging of certain companies comprising all of the European operations of Agencyport.

Keyboard.

Xchanging plc (Xchanging) and Agencyport Software Group (Agencyport) supply specialist software to the insurance industry, in particular insurers and reinsurers operating in the London Company Market and Lloyd’s of London (Lloyd’s) registered managing agents.

In its provisional findings published today, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally concluded that the merger would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the market.

Phil Evans, Chair of the Xchanging/Agencyport merger group, said:

We have provisionally concluded, following the merger, there would remain a sufficient number of credible suppliers of policy administration systems to Lloyd’s and the London Company Market.

In reaching a view, we took account of the sophistication of customers and their ability to deploy a range of strategies to influence suppliers’ offerings or increase their bargaining power in negotiations. We provisionally concluded that, under such circumstances, following the merger, this would not lead to higher prices or lower service quality or reduce the incentives of suppliers to innovate.

On the basis of the evidence we have seen we have provisionally concluded that customers will not lose out from the merger of Xchanging and Agencyport.

The inquiry group must report its final decision by 24 May 2015.

Anyone wishing to respond to the provisional findings should do so in writing, by no later than 5pm on 14 April 2015, to Xchanging.Agencyport@cma.gsi.gov.uk or write to:

Project Manager
Xchanging/Agencyport merger inquiry
Competition and Markets Authority
Victoria House
Southampton Row
London
WC1B 4AD

Notes for editors

  1. The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law. From 1 April 2014 it took over the functions of the Competition Commission and the competition and certain consumer functions of the Office of Fair Trading, as amended by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
  2. Under the Act a relevant merger situation is created if 2 or more enterprises have ceased to be distinct enterprises; and the value of the turnover in the United Kingdom of the enterprise being taken over exceeds £70 million (‘the turnover test’) or as a result of the transaction, in relation to the supply of goods or services of any description, a 25% share of supply in the UK (or a substantial part thereof) is created or enhanced (‘the share of supply test’).
  3. All the CMA’s functions in phase 2 merger inquiries are performed by inquiry groups chosen from the CMA’s panel members. The appointed inquiry group are the decision makers on phase 2 inquiries.
  4. The CMA’s panel members come from a variety of backgrounds, including economics, law, accountancy and/or business; the membership of an inquiry group usually reflects a mix of expertise and experience (including industry experience).
  5. The inquiry group may extend the 24-week period within which it is required to publish its report by no more than 8 weeks if it considers that there are special reasons why the report cannot be published within that period.
  6. The members of the Xchanging/Agencyport merger inquiry group are: Phil Evans (Chairman) , Sarah Chambers, Tony Morris and Graham Sharp.
  7. Enquiries should be directed to Siobhan Allen (020 3738 6460, siobhan.allen@cma.gsi.gov.uk).
  8. For more information on the CMA, see our homepage, or follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Flickr and LinkedIn. Sign up to our email alerts to receive updates on mergers cases.
Published 24 March 2015