European Commission regulators say that 13 investment banks, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (Isda) and Markit imagesbreached antitrust rules by colluding to prevent exchanges from entering the credit derivatives business.

The formal European Commission charge-sheet, running to almost 400 pages, alleges collusion to ensure the insurance-like contracts remained an “over-the-counter” (OTC) product – preserving the banks’ lucrative role as middlemen.

Between 2006 and 2009, Deutsche Börse and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange tried to enter the credit derivatives business, turning to the Isda and Markit to obtain necessary licenses for data and index benchmarks. Continue reading