EU’s Antitrust Probe Delayed Due to Banks’ Request for Business Secrets

According to Bloomberg, the EU’s antitrust probe will see delays now that the banks involved with the case have successfully fought for the ability to see the confidential information the Commission has gathered on the banks.

The information is vital to fighting the antitrust complaint that was filed by the EU back in July. This actually marks the second time sensitive data issues have delayed the EU’s antitrust probe after the Commission’s lawyers failed to redact private information in a document given to the banks involved in the case.

The EU’s antitrust probe was initiated after the banks allegedly told both the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and Markit to keep exchanges Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from obtaining licenses for data and index benchmarks, which would keep them from entering the market.

The EU says banks would miss out on profits from the over-the-counter market they currently get through acting as intermediaries if the exchange entered the market.

It’s estimated that this new requirement will set the EU’s antitrust probe back about four months. While the EU says it may be possible for the full trial to be completed before Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia finishes out his term at the end of next October, it seems unlikely.