Agitated by a ruling that it may have locked real-time data customers in to its services against competition law, Thomson Reuters makes concessions to let users use rivals – but they will have to pay.

Thomson Reuters headquarters
photo: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

In the pantheon of anti-trust cases, dominance of stock ticker data is a rare and obtuse one. But that’s the charge Thomson Reuters is trying to avoid in Europe.

In September, the European Commission preliminarily ruled the info firm may be abusing its dominant position in data feeds by stopping customers from mapping its Reuters Instrument Codes (RICs), which are used to identify stock tickers in multiple global markets, to alternative ticker services – a practise which would allow them to take company financial data from rivals. “These restrictions appear to create substantial barriers to switching,” the EC said.

On Thursday, Thomson Reuters, which disputes the complaint, proposed a solution – it will let customers use its codes to retrieve data from rival providers, but for an additional monthly license fee of at least $750.

The EC is putting the proposal out for feedback from affected companies. It says: “The new proposal improves the previously offered commitments in several regards.”

Earlier, the EC had said: “Thomson Reuters has, in effect, locked in its existing consolidated real-time datafeed customers who have embedded RICs in their applications.

“As a result, other consolidated real-time datafeed providers are not able to compete effectively with Thomson Reuters’ on the market for consolidated real-time datafeeds.”

More: EC.

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