Antitrust Issues that Arise in the Trading, Settling, and Clearing of Complex Financial Instruments

Washington, DC
17 June 2010
Hosted By: the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law

This two-part panel series, sponsored by the Insurance and Financial Services Committee of the Antitrust Section of the ABA, was an in-depth primer on the antitrust issues that arise in the context of valuating transactions and other business conduct where complex financial instruments are involved. Panel 1 covered market definition and included an overview of the various security and commodity instruments in the marketplace, their general product parameters and how dealers, traders, and consumers use them. Panel 2 broadly covered competitive effects and examined what types of conduct may be potentially harmful in these types of markets. Topics for discussion included: issues relating to the vertical integration of trading with clearing/settlement; the role of network effects and liquidity in the analysis of potential harm; issues that arise where joint ownership (whether as a formal joint venture or otherwise) is present; and barriers to entry, including questions of minimum viable scale and critical mass. NERA Industry Affiliate Dr. James Overdahl participated in Panel 2, which was moderated by Scott Scheele of the US Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, Networks & Technology Enforcement Section.

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