UniCredit, Bank Of America & Portigon Challenge EC Bonds Cartel Ruling

On 13 September 2021, details were published in the Official Journal of the European Union of actions brought by UniCredit and UniCredit Bank, Bank of America and Bank of America Corporation and Portigon to challenge the European Commission’s decision of 20 May 2021 finding that they participated in a cartel in the primary and secondary market for European Government Bonds (EGB).

The European Commission had found that Bank of America, Natixis, Nomura, RBS (now NatWest), UBS, UniCredit and WestLB (now Portigon) had breached EU antitrust rules through the participation of a group of traders in a cartel in the primary and secondary market for European Government Bonds (‘EGB’).

Fines totalling € 371 million were imposed on Nomura, UBS and UniCredit. NatWest was not fined as it revealed the cartel to the Commission. Bank of America and Natixis were not fined either because their infringement falls outside the limitation period for imposition of fines. Portigon, the legal and economic successor of WestLB, received a zero fine as it did not generate any net turnover in the last business year which served as a cap to the fine.

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