European Commission makes Standard & Poor’s commitments legally binding

On 15 November 2011 the European Commission announced it has  decided to make the commitments offered last May 2011 by Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”), to abolish the licensing fees that banks pay for the use of U.S. International Securities Identification Numbers (“ISINs”) within the European Economic Area, legally binding (see Newsletter  3/2011 p. 5 and Newsletter 6/2009 p. 10 for additional background).  Moreover,  for direct users, information services providers and service bureaus (i.e. outsourced data management service providers), S&P committed to distribute the US ISIN record separately from other added value information on a daily basis for $15,000 USD per year, to be adjusted each year in line with inflation.

Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia noted that the “commitments offered by S&P will abolish licensing fees that banks had to pay for the mere use of US ISINs in Europe and significantly reduce their cost for other users such as information services providers. This will improve the efficiency of European financial markets.” [Gabriele Accardo]