Foreign Bank Defendants Move to Dismiss LIBOR Antitrust Suit

On Friday, the defendants of an antitrust conspiracy case, McCarthy et al v. Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. et al, filed a motion to dismiss arguing that the plaintiffs’ first amended complaint failed to establish personal jurisdiction against the foreign defendants. 

The lawsuit was initiated by individuals who made a transaction on a LIBOR-linked Instrument, per court records. The motion states that the LIBOR is an intra-bank interest rate that was established and is regulated in the United Kingdom. Further, the LIBOR interest rate is based on daily submissions from a panel of banks which are all from outside the United States, primarily from London.

The plaintiffs argue that the LIBOR formula and procedures themselves are inherently anticompetitive and that the panel banks’ participation in determining LIBOR is itself a conspiracy. However, in September, the court dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims in their original complaint against the domestic bank defendants for failure to allege antitrust standing and dismissed the foreign banks for lack of personal jurisdiction. 

The plaintiffs subsequently filed an amended complaint, and the defendants responded with another motion to dismiss. The motion to dismiss argues that the plaintiffs have again failed to establish jurisdiction over the foreign bank defendants and that their claims are premised on allegations of misconduct abroad with no nexus to the United States

Specifically, the motion argues that the plaintiffs failed to establish that any foreign defendant is subject to general jurisdiction as each are incorporated and have their principal place of business outside the U.S. nor have the plaintiffs established that their claims arise from the defendants’ contacts in the U.S. to subject them to specific jurisdiction. Further, the motion argues that even if the plaintiffs “overreaching theories of jurisdiction” were accepted it would violate the foreign defendants’ due process rights. 

Accordingly, the defendants ask the court to dismiss the plaintiffs’ amended complaint without leave to amend. The plaintiffs are represented by Alioto Law Firm,  Law Offices of Lawrence G. Papale, and Nedeau Law PC, among others, and the defendants are represented by Bartko Zankel Bunzel & Miller, Shearman & Sterling, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, among others.