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Tullett Prebon to pay out over BGC data misuse

Tullett Prebon has agreed to pay $800,000 to its US rival BGC after misuse of data by some of its brokers, closing one chapter in a long-running legal battle between the two interdealer brokers.

The settlement, which was ordered by a US arbitrator, is smaller than Tullett had expected, and far lower than the sum sought by BGC, which claimed it had suffered damages of “hundreds of millions of dollars”. The arbitrator found that BGC was not the “prevailing party”, meaning it was not entitled to reclaim legal costs from Tullett.

The dispute related to trading data provided by BGC that Tullett packaged with its own data and sold to information providers such as Reuters and Bloomberg. Under the terms of the deal between the two groups, Tullett’s brokers were not allowed to use the BGC data after January 25 last year but some continued to do so.

In Tullett’s latest full-year results statement it reported a provision of £12.4m to cover the anticipated cost of settling the data misuse case and the costs of two other cases it is pursuing against BGC. Those cases relate to BGC’s alleged “poaching” of more than 50 brokers from Tullett’s US division in late 2009. Last year BGC made an out-of-court payment to settle a similar claim relating to Tullett’s UK business.

Source: FT, 22.03.2012 by Simon Mundy

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