The CMA, which began an in-depth investigation of the deal in April, said on August 16 that its concerns were based on the potential for ICE to divert trades to its own trading platforms. It raised full divestment as a possible remedy.
ICE responded: “We do not believe that divestment is necessary, appropriate or in the best interests of Trayport’s customers. ICE is committed to retaining ownership of Trayport and is willing to memorialise its intentions with regard to Trayport’s future operation with formal CMA remedies.”
Atlanta-based ICE said it has the opportunity to demonstrate how the CMA’s concerns “do not reflect” the way Trayport will operate as its subsidiary.
One specific point ICE made was that Trayport will treat brokers, exchanges and clearing houses “fairly and reasonably”. It pledged that those market participants would face no discrimination in terms of pricing, access and support.
The CMA had also suggested a so-called behavioural remedy to its competition concerns, under which it would require Trayport to grant access to its products and services on a “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory’ basis”.
Emphasising that the CMA’s findings were provisional, ICE said it was customary for the current stage of the CMA’s review to include divestment as a potential remedy along with alternatives.
ICE bought Trayport from brokerage BGC Partners last November. The CMA’s final decision is not expected until mid-October.