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Market Abuse Directive (MAD)/Market Abuse Regulation (MAR)

The Market Abuse Directive (MAD) and the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) shall ensure the integrity of European financial markets and increase investor confidence. Any unlawful behavior in the financial markets is prohibited. The concept of market abuse typically consists of insider dealing, unlawful disclosure of inside information, and market manipulation.


Their objective is to ensure even more efficient, transparent and trustworthy European financial markets and to create a level playing field for all economic operators in the Member States as part of the effort to combat market abuse.

MAR does not limit its scope of application to financial instruments admitted to trading on a regulated market or for which a request for admission to trading on a regulated market has been made. MAR covers financial instruments admitted to trading or traded on Multilateral Trading Facilities (MTFs), financial instruments traded on Organised Trading Facilities (OTFs), and emission allowances.

MAR provides for a minimum set of supervisory and investigatory powers which the national competent authorities should be entrusted with under national law and delivers a set of administrative sanctions.

The new framework will strengthen the fight against market abuse across commodity and related derivative markets, explicitly ban the manipulation of benchmarks, such as LIBOR, and reinforce the investigative and sanctioning powers of regulators.

Time line

MAD was published in the Official Journal of the European Union and entered into force on 12 April 2003. MAR was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 12 June 2014 and has applied since 3 July 2016.

However, the final adoption of the MAR would take place after a final political agreement on MiFID II, since aspects of MAR – notably its scope – depend on the final text of MiFID II. These will need to be aligned. The date as of which the new market abuse rules would apply is also to be aligned with that of MiFID II.

MAD/MAR: the highlighted parts of the value chain are affected

ESMA: final MAR guidelines on commodity derivatives

ESMA has published the official translations of its final guidelines on commodity derivatives under the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR). The guidelines clarify one element of the regulation’s definition of inside information in relation to commodity derivatives.

Legal basis

Find the most recent legal text on this regulation here.