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European Commission sends objections to 13 investment banks

The European Commission has informed 13 investment banks of its preliminary conclusion that they infringed EU antitrust rules that prohibit anti-competitive agreements by colluding to prevent exchanges from entering the credit derivatives business between 2006 and 2009. The sending of a statement of objections does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation. The statement of objections is addressed to Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC), Barclays (BCS), Bear Stearns, BNP Paribas (BNPQY), Citigroup (C), Credit Suisse (CS), Deutsche Bank (DB), Goldman Sachs (GS), HSBC (HBC), JP Morgan (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), UBS (UBS) as well as the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and data service provider Markit. The Commission takes the preliminary view that the banks acted collectively to shut out exchanges from the market because they feared that exchange trading would have reduced their revenues from acting as intermediaries in the OTC market.