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Hearing into currency price-fixing by banks starts at Competition Commission

SABC News Rand P 1 - Hearing into currency price-fixing by banks starts at Competition Commission

The Competition Appeal Court, sitting at the High Court in Johannesburg, has started hearing an appeal involving alleged currency price-fixing by 14 local and international banks with the matter including the question of the jurisdiction of the Competition Tribunal.

In 2017 the Competition Commission investigated alleged collusive behaviour among local and foreign banks in currency price-fixing involving the rand – and referred the matter to the Tribunal. The international banks include Merrill Lynch Bank of America and JP Morgan.

Speaking at the High Court in Johannesburg where the case is being heard, Advocate Mike van der Nest, who represents JP Morgan, argued the Tribunal had no jurisdiction over international banks.

“You don’t extend your territoriality, you don’t go outside your territory into another territory, unless there’s a permissive rule. In the absence of a permissive rule to the contrary, Carenza’s case tells you, that jurisdiction then remains South African jurisdiction. “

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