On October 8, 2007, the European Commission (the “Commission”) initiated Phase II proceedings into the proposed acquisition of Reuters by Thomson. The in-depth assessment affords the Commission the opportunity to further examine the impact on competition of the proposed acquisition on the affected markets, notably for the supply of financial information.
In particular, the Commission said it was concerned that the concentration would raise competition concerns with regard to the supply of data-feeds, the access to specific financial information databases, the access to real-time and aftermarket research (in particular broker reports) and the provision of news services. The Commission now has until at least February 25, 2008 to review the transaction. In a parallel development, the Department of Justice which is conducting a separate review of the transaction in the USA has entered into a “timing agreement” with the merging parties under which it has agreed to conclude its review by January 15, 2008.