HSBC on appeal before the Court of Justice
In the Official Journal yesterday, an appeal brought by HSBC Holdings plc, HSBC Bank plc, and HSBC France against the judgment of the General Court (Second Chamber, Extended Composition) in T-105/17, HSBC Holdings plc and Others v Commission (Case C-883/19 P) was published.
The case revolves around Commission Decision C(2016) 8530 final of 7 December 2016, which declared that, between 12 February 2007 and 27 March 2007, HSBC and other entities engaged in collusive practices with the aim to distort the normal course of pricing components for the EIRDs (Euribor and Euro Over-Night Index Average). The Decision therefore declared that HSBC had participated in a single and continuous infringement of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and of Article 53 of the EEA Agreement. As a result of that infringement, a fine of 33,606,000 EUR was imposed on HSBC.
In their action before the General Court, the applicants were successful in securing the partial annulment of the aforementioned Commission Decision. Now, in their appeal, the concerned entities of HSBC seek the annulment of the General Court’s judgment in so far as it dismissed their action. They also seek the annulment of Article 1(b) of the Commission Decision or, alternatively, the annulment of the aforementioned provision in so far as it refers to HSBC.
In essence, the appellants base their action on two sets of arguments. Firstly, they condemn the Commission for infringing essential procedural rules, namely respecting HSBC’s right to the principles of the presumption of innocence, good administration and the rights of defence. Secondly, they claim that the General Court misapplied Article 101(1) TFEU in different ways, in how it characterised the subject of the manipulation and/or by distorting the relevant evidence.
Read the application here.