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Competition Bureau closes investigation into TMX Group

Mark Blinch/Reuters

The Competition Bureau has closed its investigation into TMX Group, concluding that owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange likely did not violate the Competition Act in the operation of its market data business.

Last year, TMX rival Aequitas Innovations Inc. complained to the Bureau about what it maintained was "anti-competitive conduct" from TMX Group in relation to its market data product. At the time, Aequitas was attempting to build out its own competing data product. Aequitas alleged that agreements between TMX and investment dealers prevented the sharing of private data without the consent of TMX Group.

Even though the Competition Bureau found in its investigation that this was indeed the case, there were other factors that had little to do with TMX, that made it difficult for Aequitas to launch a competing product, including dealers themselves having reservations about working with Aequitas. One such reservation was over the confidentiality of private market data, according to the Bureau's statement.

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"Even absent TMX Group's contractual clauses, it was unlikely that Aequitas would be able to obtain a sufficient volume of private market data from investment dealers to develop a sufficiently competitive product," the bureau wrote in the release.

"TMX Group co-operated fully during the investigation and remains firmly committed to conducting business with integrity in full compliance with the Competition Act," TMX Group wrote in a statement after the bureau's decision was made public.

In a separate statement, Aequitas said that it was "disappointed" at the decision.

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About the Author
Capital Markets Reporter

Niall McGee joined the Globe and Mail in 2014 as a capital markets reporter. Previously, he spent a decade at Business News Network (BNN) as a reporter and segment producer. In 2016, he won a National Newspaper Award (NNA) in business alongside veteran reporter Jacquie McNish for an investigative series into alleged insider trading at online gambling company Amaya Inc. More

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