On 2 November 2020, YPO abandoned its purchase of Findel after the CMA concluded that blocking the purchase was likely to be the best remedy for the competition concerns raised by the deal. Three days later, the CMA found that a block was the best remedy for the competition issues arising from FNZ’s purchase of GBST (which had already completed). These findings by the CMA followed detailed and lengthy Phase II reviews.

These are the seventh and eighth cases in a period of less than two years where, following detailed Phase II reviews, mergers have been abandoned because of the likelihood of the CMA blocking the deal or the deal being blocked by the CMA.

These deals emphasise the tough stance that can be taken by the CMA when examining mergers between leading players in a given segment, and highlight the importance of merger control advice and risk analysis at the very start of potential transactions where there are competitive overlaps between the parties.