May 8, 2017 / 10:02 PM / 6 months ago

MarkitSERV rate swap rival sues over threatened freeze-out

NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - A fast-growing swap execution facility on Monday sued MarkitSERV, accusing the processor of interest rate swap trades of using its dominant market position to put it out of business within a week.

In a complaint filed with the Manhattan federal court, trueEX LLC said it expects to lose access to MarkitSERV’s platform on May 14, when the unit of IHS Markit Ltd has said it plans to terminate a services agreement dating to 2011.

The plaintiff said MarkitSERV is doing this “to neutralize the competitive threat” it poses, and prevent competition for its rival interest rate swap processing platform, truePTS.

IHS Markit did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

If the agreement were terminated, trueEX said it would have to “close its doors,” and eliminate 56 jobs because hedge fund, asset manager and pension fund clients would not use it if they could not connect to MarkitSERV for real-time updates.

IHS Markit controls “the essential plumbing of the entire OTC derivatives market,” and has caused “irreparable harm” by retaining power in the interest rate swaps trade processing market to “dictate” who gains access, the complaint said.

The New York-based plaintiff is seeking an injunction against ending the services agreement, as well as triple damages and other remedies for MarkitSERV’s alleged violations of the Sherman antitrust law.

The case is trueEX LLC et al v. MarkitSERV Ltd et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 17-03400. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York, editing by G Crosse)

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