In connection to an investigation into alleged price fixing on the trading of dollar-denominated bonds, four banks have been charged by European Union antitrust regulators.

“The four banks exchanged commercially sensitive information and coordinated on prices concerning U.S. dollar denominated supra-sovereign, sovereign and agency bonds, known as ‘SA bonds’,” it said.

“These contacts would have taken place mainly through online chatrooms.”

According to the Reuters news agency, French bank Credit Agricole SA confirmed on December 20 that it had received a ‘statement of objections’ from the European Commission.

Also, Germany’s Deutsche Bank said it has pro-actively cooperated with the European Commission’s probe and added it does not expect a penalty.

“The four banks exchanged commercially sensitive information and coordinated on prices concerning U.S. dollar denominated supra-sovereign, sovereign and agency bonds, known as ‘SA bonds’,” it said.

“These contacts would have taken place mainly through online chatrooms.”

Regulators worldwide have penalized the financial industry billions of euros in recent years for rigging various financial benchmarks.