Black Knight Inc. and Intercontinental Exchange Inc. announced Aug. 7 they have reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to drop a federal lawsuit seeking to stop their merger.
Jacksonville-based Black Knight and ICE said while the federal court complaint will be dismissed, they are still working with the FTC to resolve the agency’s antitrust concerns about the merger.
ICE agreed in May 2022 to acquire Black Knight, but completion of the deal has been held up by FTC concerns that the merger will give ICE too much control over the U.S. mortgage technology market.
Black Knight dominates the market for processing mortgage loans and Atlanta-based ICE, best known as the operator of the New York Stock Exchange, also has a large mortgage technology division.
The companies tried to address those concerns with an agreement in March to sell Black Knight’s loan origination technology business called Empower to Constellation Software Inc. With the FTC continuing to press forward with efforts to stop the merger, the companies in July announced another agreement to sell Black Knight’s data subsidiary, Optimal Blue, to Constellation.
After the second divestiture was announced, the FTC agreed to postpone a hearing for an injunction against the merger in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco until Aug. 14.
The agreement announced Aug. 7 dismisses that lawsuit but a case against the merger remains pending in an FTC administrative court.
However, dismissal of the federal court lawsuit clears the way for the parties to resolve the administrative court complaint and for ICE to complete its $11.7 billion buyout of Black Knight.