US: SCOTUS revives chances for antitrust LIBOR claims

Bond investors who had LIBOR antitrust claims against banks dismissed last year have been given a new chance to fight their case, reports say, as the US Supreme Court agreed to hear their appeal.

Reports say the investors sued dozens of the world’s largest lenders for their alleged role in the manipulation of the LIBOR benchmark rate. But the investors, whose suits were centralized in New York, were dealt a blow in March of 2013 after US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald dismissed all antitrust claims against the banks.

In her decision, Judge Buchwald found that the process of setting LIBOR was not a competitive one, and therefore the investors could not have been harmed by anticompetitive behavior. Instead, the judge found, the process was a “cooperative endeavor.”

A group of the investors whose claims only stood on antitrust ground appealed the case to the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals, which dismissed the appeal because the district court did not dismiss all complains of the consolidated lawsuits.

In their appeal to the Supreme Court, the investors said that appeals courts are divided on “whether and when the dismissal of an action that has been consolidated with other actions is an appealable final order.”

SCOTUS has reportedly agreed to hear the case even though the remaining, non-antitrust claims are still pending.

According to reports, the Court will hold oral arguments in the case after the current term. The next term begins in October.

Full content: Reuters

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