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European Regulators to Charge Banks Over Derivatives

"European antitrust authorities are moving soon to bring a case against some of the world's largest banks alleging collusion in the $27 trillion market for credit derivatives, people familiar with the investigation said.

"The probe by the European Commission involves 16 financial groups. It focuses on whether they sought to stifle competition from exchanges in the market for credit-default swaps, which pay out when a country or a company defaults on its debts.

"If the European regulators press ahead with their administrative case and win, some or all of the banks could face fines.

"Also under investigation is Markit Group, a credit derivatives data provider that is partly owned by the dealers, and ICE Clear Europe, a unit of IntercontinentalExchange Inc. Markit and ICE declined to comment."

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