Commission considering the competition appeal court judgment

banks
18 Jan 2024

The Competition Commission (“Commission”) notes the judgment by the Competition Appeal Court (CAC) handed down on Monday, 8 January 2024 following appeals, review and dismissal applications brought by 23 of the respondent banks against the decision of the Competition Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) dated 30 March 2023.

In its judgment, the CAC dismissed the appeals of four of the 23 respondent banks. The CAC ordered them to file their answering affidavits in response to allegations of price fixing and division of markets in contravention of section 4(1)(b) of the Competition Act with the Tribunal within 40 days of the order.

The CAC also upheld the appeals by 19 respondent banks.

The Commission is currently considering the judgment and consulting its legal team before deciding on the next course of action.

Background

The Commission first launched a complaint on 1 April 2015, against various financial entities that centered on an agreement or concerted practice to manipulate prices related to certain foreign currency pairs tied to the ZAR. This was in violation of Section 4(1)(b)(i) of the Act. On 1 August 2016, the Commission amended the complaint adding additional financial institutions and including allegations of market allocation through customer allocation against the financial institutions. This was in violation of Section 4(1)(b)(ii) of the Act. The anticompetitive practices are alleged to have taken place between September 2007 to at least September 2013.

The 8 January 2024 judgment by the CAC was as a result of appeals, reviews and dismissal applications filed by Bank of America Merril Lynch International Designated Activity Company; BNP Paribas; JP Morgan Chase and Co.; JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A.; Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited; Standard New York Securities INC.; Standard Bank of South Africa Limited; Nomura International PLC; Standard Chartered Bank; Credit Suisse Group; Commerz Bank AG; Macquarie Bank Limited; HSBC Bank PLC; HSBC Bank USA, National Association INC.; Merril Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith INC.; Bank of America, N.A.; Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC; Nedbank Group Limited; Nedbank Limited; FirstRand Limited; FirstRand Bank Limited; and Standard Americas INC.

The CAC upheld the appeals, reviews and dismissal applications by Bank of America Merril Lynch International Designated Activity Company; JP Morgan Chase and Co.; Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited; Standard New York Securities INC.; Standard Bank of South Africa Limited; Nomura International PLC; Standard Chartered Bank; Credit Suisse Group; Commerz Bank AG; Macquarie Bank Limited; HSBC Bank USA, National Association INC.; Merril Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith INC.; Bank of America, N.A.; Nedbank Group Limited; Nedbank Limited; FirstRand Limited; FirstRand Bank Limited and Standard Americas INC. Further, the CAC dismissed appeals, reviews and dismissal applications by BNP Paribas, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Credit Suisse Securities and HSBC Bank PLC and ordered these banks to file answering affidavits with the Tribunal within 40 days. Investec Limited and Investec Bank Limited did not appeal the Tribunal judgment which ordered them to file their answering affidavit.

Article sourced from The Competition Commission South Africa.

See also:

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
Share


Competition & Antitrust Law articles on GoLegal