Stock Exchange climbs down on Internet deals

The London Stock Exchange yesterday made a humiliating climb-down in its dispute with Sharelink, the private client stockbroker, and its partner, Electronic Share Information. After an acrimonious dispute lasting more than two weeks it has agreed to resume the supply of price data for the two firms' share-trading service via the Internet.

The Exchange withdrew its pricing information agreement just as the product was about to launch after telling ESI and Sharelink that it had unilaterally altered the contract.

That decision led to complaints from the two firms who argued that the LSE was exploiting its monopoly powers.

The dispute also led to the Exchange taking the highly unusual decision to issue defamation proceedings against Sharelink's chief executive, David Jones, for comments he made about the affair in a radio broadcast.

Yesterday the Exchange said that it had agreed to withdraw its libel action against Mr Jones and also said that it had decided not to go ahead with any disciplinary procedures against the company which it had earlier threatened.

Mr Jones said yesterday: "Sharelink is pleased that it has been possible to resolve the dispute between the Exchange and ESI. I regret that this has ever become an issue and am happy to join fully in the statements made by ESI. The new Internet service represents an important step forward for the development of the private investor sharedealing and information services."

ESI had asked the Office of Fair Trading to investigate the situation and had several meetings about the matter with OFT representatives. Yesterday ESI said it was writing to the OFT to withdraw its request for an investigation of the Exchange's conduct. Dr Hermann Hauser, founder of ESI, also confirmed ESI had withdrawn its allegations that the Exchange had acted in breach of its agreements with ESI.

In an about-turn from the earlier position, the Exchange's chief executive Michael Lawrence made a statement saying: "The Exchange is pleased to be involved in the development of a service which will increase the range of choice available to private investors."

The Exchange said it welcomed Dr Hauser's statement and said that it had reached agreement with ESI with a view to ensuring that ESI's Internet service could be provided on an on-going basis.

Sources said last week that the LSE had tried to encourage ESI to find another partner other than Sharelink but that this strategy had failed when ESI made it clear that it would stick with its intended partner.

There have been problems in the past between the Exchange and Mr Jones. Last year Mr Jones spent some six months as a board member, during which time it is said there were frequent clashes between him and other board members over strategy. He has since argued that the Exchange has not fully represented the views of the private investor, preferring to concentrate on the demands of the larger institutions.

Meanwhile, APCIMS, which represents private client stockbrokers, said that it had protested to the government about the charging policy issued by Crestco, the company developing the new share settlement system. The group says that every deal of under pounds 4,000 or smaller where investors keep their share certificates will cost more to settle under the Crest system than it does under Talisman, the present Stock Exchange settlement system. It adds that under the new system individual investors will lose out while institutional investors will gain. APCIMS says the cost of an investor keeping his name on a company's register under the new system of sponsored membership looks likely to cost much more than expected. It calls for the new proposed charges to be investigated by the OFT.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Recruitment Genius: Client Services Assistant

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client Services Assistant is ...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor