On 27 February the OFT issued an interim measures direction for the first time, using its powers under the Competition Act 1998.  The order means that the London Metal Exchange (LME) is prevented from implementing its planned extension of its trading hours.   Evidence received by the watchdog suggests that increased operating hours of the LME, which is the leading electronic trading market for non-ferrous metals, might lead to the elimination of competition on the market.  Rival on-line trading platform, Spectron, came forward, alleging that predatory pricing practices by the LME  had already forced it to withdraw from trading during the day.  Spectron is now primarily operating in the evening.  An increase of LME's business hours would enable it to start trading in the evening as well.  Spectron has subsequently withdrawn its request but the watchdog has decided to keep the temporary restrictions in place.

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