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On May 9, 2018 the Italian Competition Authority opened an investigation concerning an alleged abuse of dominant position carried out by Monte Titoli – a company belonging to the London Stock Exchange Group’s italian branch – in the market of post-trading services, with specific regard to financial settlement and custody services.

Settlement services, carried out by Monte Titoli on the pan-european platform Target2Securities (T2S), are necessary to complete a financial transaction between buyers and sellers of securities traded on financial platforms and OTC; custody is a financial service in which the custodian holds securities on behalf of a client.

The opening of the investigation was notified to Monte Titoli on May 16, 2018. The Antitrust officials also carried out dawn raids at the company’s premises with the assistance of Guardia di Finanza - Antitrust Special Unit.

The investigation was originated by a complaint jointly filed by Intesa SanPaolo SpA, Iccrea Banca SpA, Société General Securities Services SpA, BNP Paribas Securities Services SCA and NEXI SpA (ICBPI). Complainants rely on Monte Titoli’s settlement services in order to provide their various financial custody services; these services are offered in competition with the analogous custody services offered by Monte Titoli.

According to the Antitrust Authority, the price policy applied by Monte Titoli to settlement services could be designed with the aim of favouring the company’s own financial custody services with respect to analogous services offered by banks that filed the antitrust complaint.

The end of the investigation is envisaged by May 31, 2019.

Rome, 16 May 2018