EU

On behalf of the team

On 11 October 2021, banking companies UBS Group AG, UBS AG and Nomura International plc, Nomura Holdings, Inc took the European Commission to court over the imposition of antitrust fines for a cartel in European government bonds.[1] UBS is challenging the approach taken by the Commission in setting the fines, principally arguing that the Commission failed to apply generally applicable EU rules for calculating financial institutions’ turnover, thus breaching the general principles of equal treatment and legitimate expectations. Nomura, on the other hand, is arguing that the Commission erred in the assessment of facts and law, for example as regards its finding of a “by object” breach of antitrust law and its assessment of the alleged period of infringement. In support of the action, the applicants rely on ten pleas in law to argue for the annulment of the fine against the applicants in whole or in part and to substantially reduce the fine imposed on the applicants. The EU General Court has published summaries of the companies’ appeals in the EU OfficialJournal.[2]

[1] Press release European Commission 11 October 2021 ‘UBS, Nomura challenge European government bonds antitrust fines at EU court’

[2] Official Journal of the European Union, 2021/C 412/17.