By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, May 4 (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters has offered additional concessions to the European Commission to end an antitrust investigation related to codes for financial data, a Commission spokesman said on Friday.
Thomson Reuters owns the ‘Reuters Instrument Codes’ system for identifying stocks, bonds and other financial instruments on its systems used by traders around the world, controlling access to these RICs, which some competitors and the EU Commission argue stifles competition in the market for financial data.
“I can confirm we have received new proposals for commitments by Thomson Reuters,” said Antoine Colombani, a spokesman for competition issues at the Commission, the EU executive. He did not provide details.
Thomson Reuters said the latest concessions were aimed at addressing customers’ concerns.
“It is premature to comment further or discuss those details, but we are continuing to cooperate fully with the European Commission and look forward to resolving this matter,” Thomson Reuters spokeswoman Yvonne Diaz said in a statement.
In December last year, Thomson Reuters offered to open its classification to competitors as long as they pay a licensing fee. But in a market test conducted by the EU watchdog, competitors and trading firms then demanded more.
If the EU regulator accepts the new concessions, Thomson Reuters will not be fined. Penalties for breaching EU rules can reach up to 10 percent of a company’s global turnover.
Thomson Reuters’ financial markets business competes primarily with Bloomberg LP, which has a similar classification system.