FNZ has submitted a Notice of Application to challenge the CMA’s final decision to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT).
Following receipt of the appeal, the CMA says it has identified “certain potential errors” in its market share calculations.
It said this was as a result of the provision of inconsistent information during the CMA’s investigation.
The CMA will now ask the tribunal to send the case back to the CMA to reconsider.
It’s not yet know how long the appeal will take to be heard. Financial Planning Today has asked the CMA for an outline of the timetable.
In November the Competition and Markets Authority ordered platform engine provider FNZ to sell rival and takeover target GBST over fears that millions of UK pension savers and investors could face worse service and higher prices.
In its final report the CMA found that the deal raised “significant competition concerns” in the supply of retail platform solutions to investment platforms in the UK.
FNZ and GBST are two of the leading suppliers in the sector, powering the majority of UK investment platforms and the CMA found that if it went ahead the merged business would be by far the largest supplier in the platform ‘engine’ market, holding almost half of the UK market.
FNZ clients include Aviva, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, National Australia Bank, Quilter, Santander, Standard Life Aberdeen, UBS, Vanguard and Zurich. GBST clients include AJ Bell, Raymond James and Vitality.
At the time of the merger decision, Martin Coleman, chair of the CMA inquiry group carrying out the investigation, said: “This matters to the millions of UK consumers who hold pensions or other investments. This is because competition plays a key role in driving price and quality. Without healthy competition, costs could go up and service quality could get worse.
“FNZ chose to complete its acquisition of GBST without first seeking merger clearance in the UK, which it is perfectly entitled to do. This came with the risk that the CMA could call the case in for investigation and that, if competition concerns were found, FNZ could be required to sell off all of the business it had just acquired.”
Following an in-depth investigation, a group of independent CMA panel members concluded that the loss of competition brought about by the deal could lead to investment platforms, and therefore UK consumers who rely on these platforms to administer their pensions and other investments, facing higher costs and lower quality services.”
FNZ has been asked for comment.