No conclusion of abuse of dominance in securities market data case

Bureau concludes investigation into allegations against TMX Group

News release

November 21, 2016 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau announced today that it is closing its investigation into allegations of anticompetitive conduct by TMX Group Limited (TMX Group) related to securities market data.

The Bureau began the investigation after receiving a complaint from Aequitas Innovations Inc. (Aequitas) against TMX Group, which operates the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

Aequitas announced plans to launch a lower priced, consolidated market data product for traders. However the company alleged that some of the clauses that are contained in contracts between TMX Group and investment dealers prevent the dealers from sharing private market data with third parties such as Aequitas, without the express written consent of TMX Group.

Evidence collected by the Bureau over the course of the investigation confirmed that TMX Group has refused requests by investment dealers to share private market data. However, in considering the effect of this conduct on competition, the Bureau concluded that the conduct would be unlikely to violate the abuse of dominance provisions of the Competition Act. Further information about the investigation is included in the Bureau’s position statement.

Quick facts

  • Private market data includes information associated with a trade that flows between a marketplace, such as the TSX, and an investment dealer, such as a bank or private equity firm. The data includes the identity of the buyer or seller, trade time, price and volume.
  • The Commissioner’s enforcement decisions are based on available evidence. Should new and compelling evidence of harm to competition come to light, the Bureau will not hesitate to take appropriate action.
  • Abuse of dominance occurs when a dominant player (or players) prevents or lessens competition substantially by engaging in acts intended to exclude, discipline or predate a competitor in a specific market.

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The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.