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FCA takes first competition action

In its first decision under its competition powers, FCA has found that 3 asset management firms have breached competition law by sharing of strategic information, the effect of which was that the firms knew each others plans during one IPO and one placing process, when they should have been competing for shares. The firms in question were Hargreave Hale Ltd, Newton Investment Management Limited and River and Mercantile Asset Management LLP. FCA levied fines of £306,000 on Hargreave Hale and £108,600 on River and Mercantile. Newton was granted immunity under the competition leniency programme.  FCA had included Artemis Investment Management in its initial decision also, but ultimately decided it had no grounds to answer. FCA has also fined an individual (Paul Stephany)under FSMA for related activities.

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Emma Radmore