Decision reverses the district court’s dismissal of case
NEW YORK, March 1, 2023 – A federal appellate court handed a major victory to a group of platinum and palladium traders, reinstating an antitrust suit against major domestic and foreign precious metals trading institutions for their alleged manipulation of the futures markets for the metals.
On February 27, The Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a significant portion of the Southern District of New York’s ruling in In re Platinum and Palladium Antitrust Litigation, finding that “as traders in that market, the Exchange Plaintiffs” possessed antitrust standing because they “are the most efficient enforcers of the antitrust laws for that injury.”
The decision stemmed from several class actions first filed in 2014 on behalf of a class of traders that accused Goldman Sachs, HSBC, BASF Metals, and ICBC Standard Bank of manipulating the prices for physical and exchange-traded platinum and palladium on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Until 2014, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, BASF Metals, and ICBC Standard Bank ran and controlled the London Platinum and Palladium Fixing, which set and fixed the benchmark price for platinum and palladium, twice daily. According to the complaint, the defendants’ collusive and anticompetitive tactics artificially depressed the prices for platinum and palladium, causing plaintiffs and the other class members to receive less money when they sold their futures contracts.
In addition to reversing the district court’s ruling on antitrust standing for exchange-trader plaintiffs, the Second Circuit vacated the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claims that the defendants had violated the Commodities Exchange Act, ruling that the plaintiffs had alleged sufficient domestic activity to survive the foreign defendants’ motion to dismiss on those claims. The appeals court also affirmed the district court’s exercise of personal jurisdiction over the foreign defendants.
“We are pleased with the appellate court’s decision on the most critical aspects of our case and look forward to litigating our clients’ claims to a successful conclusion,” said Matthew Perez, Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel and a partner in DiCello Levitt’s Antitrust and Competition Litigation Group. “Traders should be able to rely on an efficient market free from manipulation.”
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