FNZ/GBST merger decision quashed and remitted to the CMA after challenge led by Daniel Beard QC and David Gregory

02 Feb 2021

The CMA’s investigation concerned the market for the provision of platform solutions to investment platforms. Investment platforms enable investors and their advisers to invest in a range of assets, including funds, shares, bonds and other securities. The CMA had found that the merger raised substantial competition concerns in the supply of retail platform solutions to investment platforms in the UK. It ordered FNZ to divest itself of the entire of GBST.

FNZ had challenged the decision before the Competition Appeal Tribunal alleging that there were flaws in the CMA’s counterfactual analysis, market definition, competition analysis and that the remedy was disproportionate.

In response to the Notice of Application, the CMA did not defend its decision before the CAT, but instead asked that it be remitted for reconsideration. The CMA has now published its intended process for the conduct of the remittal, provisionally set to complete by mid-May 2021.

The inquiry page can be found here.

It is believed that this is only the second time that the CAT has quashed a merger decision without a hearing on the basis of the CMA accepting flaws in its decision.

FNZ was represented by Daniel Beard QC and David Gregory.