DiCello Levitt’s Antitrust and Competition Litigation Group achieved preliminary approval on May 2, 2022, for its settlement with JPMorgan in the European Government Bonds Antitrust Litigation alleging that several of the world’s largest banks colluded to manipulate prices in the primary and secondary European government bond (EGB) market from 2007 to 2012. The settlement provided for both monetary relief and substantial and timely cooperation to aid plaintiffs in pursuing their claims.
Plaintiffs filed their initial lawsuits in March 2019, following the announcement of an investigation by the European Commission (EC). In May 2021, the EC issued its decision against several of the banks named in plaintiffs’ lawsuit detailing their participation in a cartel in the market for EGBs, including numerous transcripts of communications among the defendant banks regarding EGB market manipulation.
In February 2022, JPMorgan executed a binding term sheet with the plaintiffs and began a rolling production of documents, including chatroom transcripts. The chatroom transcripts provided by JPMorgan will buttress allegations against the existing defendant banks and potentially allow plaintiffs to add new defendants to the case.
On May 2, 2022, the court granted plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary approval of JPMorgan’s $13 million “icebreaker” settlement. In its order granting preliminary approval of the settlement, the court deferred notice to the settlement class until September 12, 2022. This is the second settlement in the litigation – plaintiffs previously settled with State Street for valuable cooperation, which the Court also preliminarily approved.