Banks including Bank of America Corp., Barclays and JPMorgan Chase won dismissal of antitrust claims in lawsuits alleging they rigged the London interbank offered rate.
Bloomberg reports that more than two dozen interrelated lawsuits are before U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in New York alleging the banks conspired to depress Libor by understating their borrowing costs, thereby lowering their interest expenses on products tied to the rates. Potential damages were estimated to be in the billions of dollars.
Buchwald has now issued a 161-page ruling dismissing antitrust allegations against the banks while allowing some commodities-manipulations claims to proceed to a trial.
'We recognize that it might be unexpected that we are dismissing a substantial portion of plaintiffs’ claims, given that several of the defendants here have already paid penalties to government regulatory agencies reaching into the billions of dollars', Buchwald wrote. 'There are many requirements that private plaintiffs must satisfy but which government agencies need not'.
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