Of course, the defendants claim such actions are "legitimate business practices." The firms are saying that what they did was "central to the proper functioning of a well-regulated capital markets system."
Whether or not the suit gets the plaintiffs a trial, it is clear that large PE firms have taken advantage of their increased profitability and power from the financialization of the economy to freely engage in such corrupting practices.
If the firms' bad behavior is considered acceptable or if the firms agree to just pay a fine without admitting guilt, then it will be another nail in the coffin of democracy and the corruption of the financial system will be replete. Corruption will have won; the system will remain a cesspool of perverted behavior; and klepocrats will be fully in charge of the corrupted marketplace.
Bain Joins Goldman Sachs in Urging Rejection of Bid-Rigging Suit
By Don Jeffrey and David McLaughlin - Bloomberg News (SFGate)
. . . .
Individuals and pension funds that held shares in companies including Freescale Semiconductor Ltd., Neiman Marcus Group Inc. and HCA Holdings Inc. sued in 2007 and 2008, claiming “a conspiracy among private equity firms to rig bids, restrict the supply of private-equity financing, fix transaction prices and divide up the market for private-equity services for leveraged buyouts.” They are seeking a jury trial and money damages.“If true, we have some pretty serious violations of the antitrust laws,” Darren Bush, a professor of antitrust law at the University of Houston Law Center, said in an interview. “If this conduct is really going on and it’s really problematic, it ought to have a trial.”The defendants said in court papers that the plaintiffs don’t have the right to sue for antitrust violations that would be subject to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. They also said the transactions represented legitimate business practices.
Read the entire article here