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Trading start-up files antitrust lawsuit in New York

NEW YORK, April 18 (IFR) - Derivatives trading start-up TeraExchange filed an antitrust lawsuit Monday alleging that some of the biggest banks in the world conspired to block customers from using its service.

The suit, first reported by IFR last week, charges that 12 banks conspired to keep investors from trading interest rates swaps on its platform, which was founded in 2010.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, RBS and UBS were named in the suit.

The filing in US District Court in the Southern District of New York also named two competing trading platforms: ICAP Capital Markets and Tradeweb Markets.

Thomson Reuters distributes Tradeweb data and offers subscribers access to its trading execution platform.

It was not immediately possible to get reaction to the allegations from all of the defendants.

But spokespeople from Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, ICAP and Tradeweb all declined to comment.

The court filing, which was seen by IFR, largely mirrors a suit filed in the same court by a Chicago pension fund in November.

The same 12 banks paid US$1.87bn in September to settle similar charges of anti-competitive behavior in the trading of another derivatives product, credit default swaps or CDS.

The banks did not admit guilt in that case.

The plaintiffs are represented by Thomas Ogden, partner at law firm Wollmuth Maher & Deutsch. (Reporting by Mike Kentz; Editing by Marc Carnegie)

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