On the same day, the Commission imposed fines totalling 32.3 million euros (US$38.3 million) on four banks (including RBS and JPMorgan) which, on the basis of its decision to agree, had entered into agreements on Swiss Bid-Ask-Spreads for Swiss interest rate derivatives. Bid-Ask spreads are the difference between the price at which a bank is willing to sell and buy a particular product. According to the Commission, between May and September 2007, RBS, UBS, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse agreed to allocate fixed and broader spreads to third parties for certain short-term derivatives categories on the Swiss franc market, while maintaining narrower spreads for transactions between them. The objective of the agreement is to reduce the trading costs of the parties and maintain liquidity between them, while striving to impose larger spreads on third parties. Another purported objective raised by the Commission was to prevent other market players from competing in the Swiss franc derivatives market under the same conditions as these four main players.   Harry Phillips, Italian marine hose exec pleads guilty, but will still contest extradition for “discrimination,” Global Competition Review (April 25, 2014), available from globalcompetitionreview.com/usa/article/35839/italian-marine-hose-exec-pleads-guilty-will-appeal-extradition-discrimination. To date, no one has pleaded guilty in the CWB`s auto parts investigation. Nevertheless, CWB members indicated that they wanted, in all cases, to increase sentences for those convicted of criminal offences.  As noted in previous updates, the CWB appears to be concerned with punishing individuals, as evidenced, for example, by the various culprits that the CWB has seized in its marine freight industry and in investigations of the gasoline industry. The DOJ`s investigation into possible manipulation of global benchmark interest rates, including LIBOR, EURIBOR and others, is not yet complete. In July, the DOJ announced that Lloyds had reached an agreement on the adjourned lawsuits, forcing Lloyds to pay an $86 million fine and to admit and take responsibility for its wrongdoing.
Lloyds is the fifth major financial institution to acknowledge LIBOR manipulations and pay a fine. In particular, criminal information accuses Lloyds only of wire fraud for its role in the manipulation of LIBOR; Despite allegations that a Lloyds LIBOR depositor and a trader had reached an agreement with Rabobank regarding the presentation of contributions to the LIBOR Yen that benefited their respective trading positions, no allegations were made regarding cartels and abuse of dominance.  Lloyds` agreement covers the total amount of fines imposed by antitrust and punitive services to more than USD 1.2 billion: Barclays Bank (US$160 million);  UBS A.G. ($500 million);  Royal Bank of Scotland (US$150 million);  Rabobank ($325 million);  and Lloyds ($86 million).  See Amy Bainbridge, Woolworths found to have vat ACCC fuel dockets deal, Austl. Broad. Corp. (av. 13, 2014), available on www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-14/woolworths-found-to-have-breached-accc-fuel-dockets-agreement/5388068.  Press release, U.S.
Dep`t of Justice, Five Northern California Real Estate Investors Accused for Bid Rigging and Fraud at Public Foreclosure Auctions (Dec.