UPDATE 1-IHS Markit, S&P to address UK competition concerns over $44 bln merger

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(Adds IHS Markit comments, details, quotes, background info)

Oct 19 (Reuters) - London-based information provider IHS Markit Ltd and S&P Global will offer remedies to quell the UK competition regulator's concerns that the $44 billion merger between the companies could curb competition in the country. Earlier on Tuesday, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the merger could hamper competition in markets that assess prices of biofuels, coal, oil, and petrochemicals in the UK, but added it could allow the deal if its concerns were addressed.

"After a thorough investigation... we've found that the deal raises competition concerns in only a handful of markets involving the supply of certain commodity price assessments in the UK," CMA Senior Director Colin Raftery said.

IHS and S&P have five working days to propose remedies in order to avoid facing an in-depth Phase 2 probe by the CMA.

IHS Markit said it had discussed the sale of its Oil Price Information Services, Coal, Metals and Mining, and PetroChem Wire businesses to News Corp, as well as the divestiture of its base chemicals business, to address the regulators' concerns.

IHS and S&P will now formally submit the proposals to the CMA.

The IHS Markit-S&P deal, announced last November, is aimed at creating a data powerhouse, as companies in the financial information services sector race to create a one-stop shop to lure the biggest clients and invest in artificial intelligence and machine learning. (Reporting by Federico Maccioni; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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