Competition Bureau statement regarding its review of S&P Global’s proposed merger with IHS Markit Ltd.

Position Statement

See the news release that corresponds to this position statement.

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December 21, 2021 – Gatineau, QC – The Competition Bureau announced today that it has entered into a consent agreement with S&P Global Inc. (S&P Global) that resolves the concerns of the Commissioner of Competition related to S&P Global’s proposed merger with IHS Markit Ltd. (IHSM).

S&P Global is a widely held publicly traded company that supplies credit ratings, financial indices, price assessments, analytics and data worldwide. IHSM is a widely held publicly traded company offering information, analytics and insight through the provision of data and software to business, finance and government customers worldwide.

Both S&P Global and IHSM are suppliers of price assessments across a range of commodities. The Bureau determined that the proposed transaction would likely result in a substantial lessening of competition in Canada for various commodity price assessments within the following segments: energy (oil, natural gas liquids, liquefied petroleum gas, biofuels), coal and petrochemicals.

The consent agreement requires the sale of the following IHSM businesses (collectively, the divestiture businesses):

  1. Oil Price Information Services (OPIS), including the PetroChem Wire division of OPIS; and
  2. the Coal, Metals and Mining business. The Commissioner has approved News Corporation (News Corp) as an acceptable buyer of the divestiture businesses.

Throughout its review, the Bureau cooperated with its counterparts in other jurisdictions, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority, and the European Commission.

The Bureau’s investigation relied on information obtained from S&P Global, IHSM and numerous other stakeholders, including customers and competitors.


On February 3, 2021, the Bureau was notified of S&P Global’s agreement and plan of a merger with IHSM. The proposed transaction is valued at approximately CAN$56 billion (US$44 billion). S&P Global is headquartered in New York City, U.S., and IHSM is headquartered in London, U.K.

Commodity price assessments are used to determine the prevailing market price at a given point in time. Price assessments are used by market participants as a reference point to settle contracts tied to market pricing, including physical supply and derivative contracts. Commodity price assessments that become embedded in a market ecosystem as the prevailing reference price are referred to as the benchmark. Customers of commodity price assessments include: refiners and suppliers; wholesalers; retailers; traders and transportation service providers; terminals and pipelines; governments; financial institutions; mining companies; power generators; and steel mills. Canadian companies use commodity price assessments to settle trades and contracts in Canada and international markets.

Competition analysis

Suppliers of commodity price assessments compete to establish a commodity price assessment that accurately reflects market conditions and to offer these products to customers. The competitive dynamics in Canada for the supply of commodity price reports are similar to those in other jurisdictions.

Commodity price assessments compete narrowly, across specific products and geographic areas. There is minimal competition across different products and geographic areas; price assessments of two different commodities are not substitutes for one another. Likewise, there is limited value in knowing the prices of a product that trades in two distant geographic areas.

Competition occurs in companies’ efforts to produce a high-quality assessment that most accurately reflects market conditions; competition for commodity price assessments also results in competitive pricing to customers. The market continues to benefit when benchmarks face competition. In particular, competition promotes the benchmark commodity price assessment to continue to improve the accuracy of its reported prices and to charge a competitive price. Competition among benchmarks also provides customers additional points of view to consider.

The merger would eliminate significant head-to-head competition between S&P Global’s Platts division and IHSM’s OPIS (including PetroChem Wire) and the Coals Metals and Mining businesses for energy, coal and petrochemical price assessments, for which the remaining competition is limited. The timelines and the reputational and relationship requirements to enter the commodity price assessment market make it unlikely for other competitors to make a timely entry or to expand. For these reasons, the Bureau concluded that the proposed transaction would likely result in a substantial lessening of competition for various commodity price assessments within the energy, coal and petrochemical commodity price assessment segments.


To remedy the Commissioner’s competition concerns, the consent agreement registered with the Competition Tribunal requires the divestiture IHSM’s OPIS business, which includes PetroChem Wire, and its Coals, Metals and Mining business. The proposed divestiture involves the worldwide sale of the divestiture businesses’ stock and assets.

The Commissioner has approved News Corp as an acceptable buyer of the divestiture businesses. The Bureau concluded that News Corp has the financial, operational and managerial capabilities to operate the divested business in Canada and that it intends to vigorously compete against S&P Global in Canada post-divestiture. Furthermore, the combination of the divestiture businesses with News Corp’s existing products and services does not raise competition concerns in Canada. The divestiture to News Corp is expected to happen soon after S&P Global completes the acquisition of IHSM.

The Bureau is satisfied that the consent agreement will address its competition concerns in Canada related to the provision of commodity price assessments.

This publication is not a legal document. The Bureau’s findings, as reflected in this Position Statement, are not findings of fact or law that have been tested before a tribunal or court. Further, the contents of this Position Statement do not indicate findings of unlawful conduct by any party.

However, in an effort to further enhance its communication and transparency with stakeholders, the Bureau may publicly communicate the results of certain investigations, inquiries and merger reviews by way of a Position Statement. In the case of a merger review, Position Statements briefly describe the Bureau's analysis of a particular proposed transaction and summarize its main findings. The Bureau also publishes Position Statements summarizing the results of certain investigations, inquiries and reviews conducted under the Competition Act. Readers should exercise caution in interpreting the Bureau’s assessment. Enforcement decisions are made on a case‑by‑case basis and the conclusions discussed in the Position Statement are specific to the present matter and are not binding on the Commissioner of Competition.

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