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EU extends credit default swaps antitrust probe

Tuesday - 3/26/2013, 8:10am  ET

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union's competition watchdog is expanding its investigation of the credit default swaps market to include a major derivatives trade body representing financial institutions.

The EU Commission said Tuesday it is also investigating the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) after finding "preliminary indications" that it may have assisted investment banks to delay or prevent others from entering the credit derivatives business.

The global derivatives market has an estimated value of around $700 trillion. CDS are a tradable form of insurance for bonds in case of default.

The EU has been investigating the practices of some of the world's largest banks, as well as a clearing house and financial data firm Markit Group Ltd. since 2011. The probe targets a market that has come under fire for lacking transparency.

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