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US: PE firms settle M&A collusion claims

 |  August 7, 2014

Three private equity firms have reportedly agreed to settle allegations of anticompetitive behavior for a combined $325 million.

According to reports, Blackstone Group, KKR and TPG Capital have settled allegations that they colluded with reach other and rivals to keep costs down on corporate takeovers. The companies are accused of agreeing not to outbid each other before acquisitions were made.

Plaintiffs said the defendants performed such anticompetitive behavior just before the 2008 financial crisis.

US District Judge William Young is now considering a preliminary approval of the settlement. Carlyle Group remains the only unsettled defendant of the 11 original defendants named in the 2007 lawsuit. A total of 27 takeover deals were listed in the suit.

According to Patrick Coughlin, who represents the plaintiffs, the settlement is “pretty good.”

”Antitrust cases like this are tough,” he said, “and there aren’t many class action settlement approaching $500 million like this one.”

So far, defendants have settled for a combined $475.5 million.

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