Canada’s Competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency operating in the country on behalf of domestic businesses and consumers, has terminated its investigation into TMX Group, following allegations that the group had abused its position in Canada in regards to securities market data.
TMX Group is a comprehensive exchange operator in Canada – the group oversees equities, fixed income, derivatives, and energy markets exchanges, including the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange. Previously, allegations were levied against TMX Group by a newly formed stock exchange consortium, Aequitas, which currently is a competitor to the exchange group.
The discrepancy came down to pricing, and in an effort to secure new business, Aequitas had initially planned to launch a lower priced market data product for traders. However, the group alleged that TMX Group and other investment dealers prevented the dealers from sharing private market data with third parties, such as Aequitas, without the express written consent of TMX Group.
‘No Abuse of Dominance’
For its part, TMX Group dominates the Canadian market and exists as the paramount entity in the country. After an investigation lasting almost one year, the Competition Bureau found that TMX Group had indeed in the past refused requests by investment dealers to share private market data, though these refusals did not elicit the type of action that would be deemed overly dominant.
According to a recent statement from the Bureau regarding the investigation into TMX Group’s actions: “However, in considering the effect of this conduct on competition, the Bureau concluded that the conduct would be unlikely to violate the abuse of dominance provisions of the Competition Act.”
Subsequently, the Bureau has closed the investigation with no conclusion of ‘abuse of dominance’.