Zenith CC&P Current Awareness

General Court annuls HSBC Euribor cartel fine

26 September 2019

Prof. Suzanne Rab

Zenith's Suzanne Rab writes: 

The General Court has annulled the European Commission’s fine of EUR33.6 million imposed on HSBC for its participation in the euro interest rate derivatives cartel.

Although the Court has largely upheld the Commission’s substantive finding that HSBC participated in a single and continuous infringement in breach of Article 101(1) TFEU, it found that the Commission had not properly established that two discussions between the bank’s traders and their counterparts restricted competition by object.

The General Court further found that the Commission had given inadequate reasons for its approach to determining the value of sales for the purposes of calculating the fine.

It is quite unusual for the Court to annul a cartel fine in its entirety and even more interesting in a case where the findings on liability were largely upheld.  This emphasises the importance of the Commission substantiating and providing adequate reasons for its approach to calculation of the fine.

JP Morgan has a pending appeal against the same Euribor decision.

Case T‑105/17, HSBC Holdings plc, HSBC Bank plc and HSBC France v European Commission, ECLI:EU:T:2019:675

Current Awareness

By the CC&P team