Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to ICAP for suspected participation in yen interest rate derivatives cartels
EU News 265/2014
Brussels, 10 June 2014
The European Commission has informed the UK based broker ICAP of its preliminary view that it may have breached EU antitrust rules by facilitating several cartel infringements in the market for interest rate derivatives denominated in the yen currency. The sending of a statement of objections does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation.
The Commission has concerns that ICAP may have been involved in cartels concerning yen interest rate derivatives as a facilitator. This behaviour, if established, would violate Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 53 of the EEA (European Economic Area) Agreement that prohibit anti-competitive agreements and restrictive business practices.
In the course of its investigation the Commission imposed fines totalling € 669 719 000 on five banks and one cash broker active in the same sector in December 2013. These six companies had admitted their involvement in cartels in the yen interest rate derivatives sector, which allowed the Commission to settle the case with them. In return, their fines were reduced by 10% (see IP/13/1208).
The Commission had also opened proceedings against ICAP in October 2013 and the investigation is continuing under the standard (non-settlement) cartel procedure.
On 20 May 2014, the Commission also sent statements of objections to suspected participants in a cartel for Euro interest rate derivatives (see IP/14/572).
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