Australia Drops Antitrust Probe Into Against Citigroup & Deutsche Bank

Australia is withdrawing an antitrust lawsuit against Deutsche Bank and Citigroup over a €1.6 billion share offer. One of Australia’s biggest economic cases came to an end, with the trial against former officials ending on Friday. After nearly four years of preliminary hearings in overcrowded courts, federal prosecutors suddenly pulled the plug. 

After evaluating the evidence, they came to the conclusion that there was no longer any real possibility of conviction, they justified the move. The Australian competition regulator ACCC sued the banks and former managers because they were said to have colluded to support the price of the shares being sold.

“We have always ensured that our bank and our employees act responsibly in the interest of customers and in accordance with all rules and regulations,” Deutsche Bank said in a statement. Citigroup reported that Money House had categorically denied the allegations and now wants to close the case. Michael Richardson, Deutsche Bank’s head of capital markets in Australia from 2008 to 2017, and one of the defendants, welcomed the decision. But he continued, “I will never get the last four years of my life back.”

In 2015, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup supported the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) in the appointment of a multi-billion block share package. At the heart of the process were telephone conferences after issue, in which banks discussed how to deal with securities that had not yet been placed.

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