The European anti trust watchdog has opened an investigation against Thomson Reuters, to find out whether the financial data provider is abusing monopoly rules by locking customers into its services.
Brussels-based European Commission (EC) has opened formal anti-trust proceedings against Thomson Reuters, concerning a potential infringement of the EC Treaty's rules on abuse of a dominant market position.
The EC will investigate Thomson Reuters' practices in the area of real-time market datafeeds, and in particular whether customers or competitors are prevented from translating Reuters Instrument Codes (RICs) to alternative identification codes of other datafeed suppliers (so-called 'mapping') to the detriment of competition.
RICs are short, alphanumerical codes that identify securities and their trading locations. They are used to retrieve information from Thomson Reuters' real-time datafeeds, for example real-time information on stock prices at a certain exchange. A datafeed is a virtual pipeline of electronically distributed real-time market data, which feeds software applications developed by banks and financial institutions.
The Commission will in particular examine whether Thomson Reuters may prevent clients from mapping RICs to alternative identification codes of other datafeed suppliers.
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.