S&P Global, IHS wins US $ 44 billion antitrust approval agreement

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 (Reuters) – Business information provider S&P Global Inc (SPGI.N) and IHS Markit Ltd (INFO.N) have won US antitrust approval for their planned merger on the condition that they sell some companies and scrap a non-compete clause agreement with GasBuddy, the Justice Department said in a statement.

The $ 44 billion deal was originally announced in November 2020.

To gain approval of the deal, the companies agreed to sell three of IHS Markits’ price reporting agency (PRA) companies. The department said the companies are: Oil Price Information Services (OPIS); Coal, metals and mining (CMM); and PetrochemWire (PCW).

The companies will be acquired by News Corp (NWSA.O) under a $ 1.15 billion deal reached in August. Read more

In a lawsuit, the Justice Department said S&P Global and IHS are a small number of companies providing PRA services and “competing strongly in each of the relevant markets, resulting in lower prices and increased quality and innovation for PRA customers.”

One of them, OPIS, collects and sells information related to US retail prices on gasoline. GasBuddy has been one of OPIS ‘most important data sources since 2009. Since 2016, OPIS has had exclusive rights to GasBuddy’s data for 20 years.

Because of the agreement, GasBuddy, which uses crowdsourced information to help people find deals on retail gasoline, has been prevented from setting up a service to compete with OPIS, the department said.

“The divestiture will maintain competition for PRA (price reporting agency) services, which are crucial for the proper functioning of commodity markets and promote transparency in the financial markets,” said Richard Powers, acting head of the Justice Department’s antitrust department, in a statement. .

GasBuddy’s parent company PDI praised the settlement from the Justice Department, saying that “once the exemption disappears, we look forward to providing petroleum marketers and wholesalers with a compelling price solution through the 1 million retail fuel prices submitted by GasBuddies on a daily basis.”

The agreement won EU antitrust approval in October with some of the same conditions. Read more

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Additional reporting by David Shepardson; Edited by Diane Craft, Chris Reese, Jonathan Oatis and Daniel Wallis

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