FRANDly access to regulated benchmarks

FRANDly access to regulated benchmarks

Will new rules from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ease concerns around administrators' unconstrained ability to set the price for accessing benchmarks? Lorraine Johnston, senior professional support lawyer at Ashurst, considers whether the rule to require administrators to allow fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) access goes far enough.

Original news

New FRAND rules proposed for benchmark administrators, LNB News 03/06/2015 85

In response to concerns about the unconstrained ability of administrators to set the prices of benchmarks, the FCA has put forward proposals for fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access to regulated benchmarks by administrators. The proposed rules aim to limit the ability of benchmark administrators to exploit their market power in a way that might hinder effective competition. Responses to the consultation are requested by 3 August 2015.

What are the FCA's proposals in this consultation?

The FCA has announced proposals for new rules to require benchmark administrators to ensure that there is fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access to the regulated benchmarks they administer. This new acronym--FRAND--will apply to the benchmark administrators of all regulated benchmarks, of which there are currently eight.

What is the purpose of the proposals?

The FCA acknowledges some market participants' concerns that administrators of benchmarks have an unconstrained ability to set the price for accessing those benchmarks. The FCA says it wants to ensure that benchmark administrators' power to exploit the market in a way that might hinder effective competition is curtailed. Such expl

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