Fidelity to sell some title plant assets to clear way for LPS acquisition

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Fidelity National Financial Inc. has agreed to “sell a copy” of LPS title plants in six Oregon counties and an ownership interest equivalent to LPS’ share of a jointly owned title plant in the metro Portland area to resolve federal antitrust regulators’ concerns about Fidelity’s planned $2.9 billion acquisition of LPS, scheduled to close Jan. 2.

The Federal Trade Commission — which had charged that the deal was likely to “substantially lessen competition” — says the settlement “will restore competition that is likely lost through the merger but will not interfere with any efficiencies that may be associated with the combination of the two companies.”

Title plants are databases used by abstractors, title insurers and title insurance agents to determine the title status of real property. The databases are used to establish the chain of title and make other determinations needed to underwrite and issue title insurance policies. Source: ftc.gov.

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