EC acceptance of Thomson Reuters’ proposals on RIC re-use frees data users
Data users wanting to use Reuters Instrument Codes to access data carried on consolidated data feeds from other information providers will be able to do so following the resolution of a European Commission investigation into whether Thomson Reuters was abusing its monopoly position.
In 2009 the EC announced an investigation into Thomson Reuters’ practices in the area of real-time market datafeeds, looking in particular at whether customers or competitors are prevented from mapping RICs to alternative identification codes of other datafeed suppliers “to the detriment of competition”.
“Without the possibility of such mapping, customers may potentially be locked-in to working with Thomson Reuters because replacing RICs by reconfiguring or by rewriting their software applications can be a long and costly procedure,”.
Earlier this year, Thomson Reuters proposed a compromise solution – it would offer an Extended RIC Licence, allowing users to map RICs under certain conditions for a fee. Following market testing, the EC has accepted this and declared it legally binding .
Thomson Reuters welcomed the announcement saying that it “brings this matter to a close, with no finding of liability”.
“We have had an open and constructive dialogue with the European Commission throughout this year and are pleased to have closed this matter with a solution that is satisfactory to both parties,” said David Craig, president of Financial & Risk at Thomson Reuters. “Following a detailed examination of the facts, the Commission accepted our proposal without any finding of infringement of EU competition law by Thomson Reuters. We now look forward to continuing to work with our customers to bring world-class real-time data feed and symbology solutions to market.”
The ERL only affects users of consolidated real-time feeds who want to move to an alternative real-time consolidated feed provider and continue to use RICs. A Reuters spokesperson declined to comment on how many clients might want to take up the opportunity: “We would not speculate on how many clients might show an interest, but we are confident that out consolidated data feed offering continues to be attractive to customers and that will only become more so with the class leading improvements we are introducing with Elektron Real-time.”
The details of the licence will be published by the EC in the New Year, including the pricing. “We should wait for that before commenting on the detail but would say that we are confident that the pricing will be considered fair, and obviously the Commission has reviewed and agreed the pricing as part of the settlement,” said the spokesperson.