FNZ-GBST merger under scrutiny from UK’s competition watchdog
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has raised its concerns about the proposed merger between investment technology suppliers FNZ and GBST.
FNZ finalised its £150 million acquisition of GBST in November 2019, part of the firm’s extensive acquisitive streak in that year.
In a statement the CMA has said that both companies have a significant presence in the UK, and as two of the leading solutions suppliers in the market a merger between the two could squeeze out smaller firms.
The regulator says that as part of its investigation it undertook “extensive” market testing and looked at evidence from a number of third-party stakeholders including investment platforms, external consultants, competitors and industry bodies.
“FNZ is already the largest supplier and has purchased an established rival who is trusted by many platforms, with few remaining competitors left in the market,” says senior director of mergers at the CMA, Joel Bamford.
“We are therefore concerned that this transaction could lead to customers losing out.”
FNZ has five working days to address the CMA’s concerns over the merger. If the firm is unable to satisfy the regulator then the investigation will continue into its next in-depth phase.
In a statement, FNZ said that it is looking forward to continuing to work with the CMA in addressing its concerns.