Competition Bureau reaches agreement with S&P Global related to its acquisition of IHS Markit
December 21, 2021 – GATINEAU, QC – Competition Bureau
The Competition Bureau announced today that it has reached an agreement with S&P Global Inc. to resolve competition concerns related to its proposed acquisition of IHS Markit Ltd (IHSM).
In Canada, both companies operate price reporting agencies that supply price assessments for certain commodities, such as oil, coal and liquified petroleum gases like propane. These assessments – which determine market prices at a given time – are used by Canadian companies to settle trades and contracts for specific products in Canada and international markets.
A review of the proposed merger concluded that it would result in a likely substantial lessening of competition for price assessments in the energy, coal and petrochemical sectors, which are used by Canadian companies.
The elimination of head-to-head competition between the companies would leave few effective remaining competitors for price assessments in these sectors.
To resolve the Bureau’s concerns, S&P Global has agreed to sell certain assets to an acceptable buyer. These include IHSM’s Oil Price Information Services business, including its PetroChem Wire division, and its Coal, Metals and Mining business.
The Commissioner has approved News Corporation (News Corp) as the buyer of these assets. The sale to News Corp is expected to proceed following the completion of the merger and the Commissioner is satisfied it will address the Bureau’s competition concerns in Canada.
On November 30, 2020, S&P Global and IHSM entered into a definitive merger agreement to combine in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately US$44 billion (C$56 billion).
Customers of commodity price assessments include: refiners and suppliers; wholesalers; retailers; traders and transportation service providers; terminals and pipelines; governments; financial institutions; mining companies; power generators; and steel mills.
Given the global nature of the transaction, the Bureau cooperated with its international counterparts, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.K Competition and Markets Authority and the European Commission.
A consent agreement has the force and effect of a court order once it is registered with the Competition Tribunal.
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The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.
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