Start-up trading venue trueEX sues Markit

Start-up trading platform trueEX has filed a complaint against industry giant Markit, claiming the company, which provides post-trade services to derivatives users, engaged in anticompetitive conduct by terminating its relationship with the trading venue.

TrueEX is one of the few new trading platforms to have gained traction with investors trading interest-rate swaps, challenging established players Bloomberg and Tradeweb.

Markit is the dominant provider of post-trade services, operating the pipes that connect the various stages of a trade.

TrueEX has had some success offering its own post-trade services and has since established truePTS to rival Markit as a wholesale provider of post-trade services.

But TrueEX still relies on MarkitSERV’s technology to integrate its trading venue with its clients and currently provides trade details to MarkitSERV as well. That relationship is set to end on May 14, according to the complaint, which was filed in US federal court in Manhattan.

Without access to MarkitSERV, trueEX will be cut off from post-trade technology that is ubiquitous in the derivatives market, with the complaint claiming it would deny trueEX from providing its own services.

“This is a clear action by a monopolist to exclude a competitor,” said Dan Brockett, chief litigator for trueEX. “Our clients use Markit. If we can’t hook up to Markit then our clients are not going to trade on the platform. It will kill not only truePTS but also trueEX.”

Markit declined to comment.

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