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S&P, FactSet, Banking Group Face Antitrust Suit Over CUSIP (1)

March 7, 2022, 4:08 PMUpdated: March 7, 2022, 4:18 PM

S&P Global Inc., FactSet Research Systems Inc., and the American Bankers Association are facing federal antitrust litigation in Manhattan over claims they monopolized the use of CUSIP numbers, a critical securities identifier needed for virtually every stock trade and financial market transaction.

The lawsuit, brought by two financial institutions, accuses the companies and trade group of asserting “bogus and malleable” copyright claims in an effort to justify the restrictive and lucrative CUSIP licensing agreements they’ve directly and indirectly imposed on every financial market participant.

Because they have no “legal right to control the use of CUSIPs,” they “have ...