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Although antitrust is rarely among issues practitioners who structure, document and enforce loans address, that field nevertheless does pose risks for lenders. Last month, for instance, a group of plaintiffs in a civil action against 16 banks embroiled in the ongoing LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) controversy sought leave to file an amended complaint alleging that the banks conspired to rig LIBOR in violation of the Sherman Act,1 and, in April, one of those banks agreed with the Department of Justice to pay a $150 million fine arising from a criminal LIBOR price-fixing violation of the Sherman Act.2 These actions reflect what some say is a greater willingness by regulators, prosecutors and private parties to pursue antitrust violations in banking, after a more relaxed period of antitrust enforcement following the financial crisis.3 The LIBOR imbroglio has been well-publicized, of course, but other lending activities potentially giving rise to antitrust exposure remain under the radar. Today, we examine some antitrust issues that lenders may face in conducting their lending business.4

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