The CMA announced in November that it would investigate the completed acquisition of GBST Holdings Limited by FNZ (Australia) Bidco Pty Ltd.
FNZ and GBST are the two major fintech engines behind most of the UK’s wrap platforms.
The CMA served an initial enforcement order last November under section 72(2) of the Enterprise Act 2002 putting the deal on hold.
FNZ is aiming to take over GBST and merge the two operations.
The CMA is looking at whether the move would cause a “substantial” reduction of competition in this sector.
The enforcement order stated: “The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has reasonable grounds for suspecting that it is or may be the case that (i) Kiwi Holdco CayCo, Ltd, including its subsidiary FNZ (Australia) Bidco Pty Ltd and (ii) GBST Holdings Limited (GBST) have ceased to be distinct.
“The CMA is considering, pursuant to section 22 of the Act, whether it is or may be the case that a relevant merger situation has been created and whether the creation of that situation has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets in the United Kingdom (UK).”
The CMA said this week it would aim to provide a ‘phase 1’ decision on the merger by 30 March.
It launched a full merger inquiry in February and has been seeking industry comment since then.
The CMA added that 30 March was the current statutory deadline to announce its decision but it could not guarantee that the decision would be announced on or before this deadline.