Bank of America Corp., UBS AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. were sued by a California public utility that claimed they had rigged sales of municipal derivatives and shared illegal profits through kickbacks.

It alleged that Charlotte-based Bank of America and more than a dozen other banking companies conspired to preselect winners of municipal derivative auctions, coordinated their pricing and accepted kickbacks disguised as fees from co-conspirators.

The lawsuit, filed by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, is based on federal and state antitrust claims. The companies engaged in "allocating customers and markets for municipal derivatives, rigging the bidding process by which municipal bond issuers acquire municipal derivatives, and conspiring to manipulate the terms that issuers received," according to the lawsuit filed Nov. 12 in federal court in Sacramento.

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