FTC Dismisses Lawsuit to Block Black Knight, ICE Merger

August 8, 2023

Black Knight Inc. and Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE) announced Aug. 7 they reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to drop a federal lawsuit seeking to stop the merger between the two companies.

The joint stipulation dismisses the federal court complaint and dissolves the temporary restraining order that was previously in place, allowing ICE, Black Knight and the FTC to continue working toward a final settlement agreement resolving the FTC’s challenge to the acquisition.

ICE and Black Knight agreed with the FTC to refrain from closing the transaction until 10 days after they sign a consent order.

“FTC staff have made significant progress towards a potential resolution regarding the Commission’s concerns over ICE’s acquisition of Black Knight,” FTC spokesperson Victoria Graham said in a statement. “The Commission looks forward to finalizing this resolution with the parties that will protect and preserve competition.”

The agreement follows the announced sale of Black Knight’s Empower and Optimal Blue businesses to rival Constellation Software Inc.

In May 2022, ICE announced a $13.1 billion deal to acquire Black Knight. However, the FTC was concerned the deal would give ICE too much control over the U.S. mortgage technology market.

ICE has completed several deals in recent years to expand beyond its core business. In 2019, it bought Simplifile for $335 million. In 2020, ICE purchased mortgage technology platform Ellie Mae for $11 billion.

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.