The Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) has alleged that four asset management firms may have broken competition law by colluding over prices in 2014. The FCA is seeking further information from Artemis Investment Management, Hargreave Hale, Newton Investment Management and River & Mercantile Asset Management. The main allegations against the four firms are that separately:

  • in 2015, Newton Investment Management Limited (‘Newton’) and Hargreave Hale Ltd and River & Mercantile Asset Management LLP disclosed and/or accepted information about the price they intended to pay for shares in relation to one IPO and a placing;
  • in 2014 Artemis Investment Management LLP and Newton shared information about the price they intended or were willing to pay for shares in relation to another IPO.

The Competition Act 1998 prohibits agreements, practices and conduct that may damage competition in the UK. According to the FCA the sharing generally occurred on a bilateral basis and allowed firms to know the others plans during the Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) or placing process, when they should have been competing for shares. Any person who is in a position materially to assist the FCA’s assessment of the case may request a non-confidential version of the statement of objections by contacting the FCA no later than 12 January 2018.

Regulated firms should bring their own actual and possible significant contraventions of competition law to the FCA’s attention, as they are obliged to do under Principle 11 of the Principles for Businesses and rules in the FCA’s Supervision manual.

Read the FCA’s Press Release