The Commodity Futures Trading Commission formally opposed efforts by Kraft Foods Group, Inc. and Mondelez Global LLC to formally appeal two legal issues to a federal appeals court in connection with the CFTC’s pending enforcement action against the defendants alleging manipulation. Last month, the defendants requested permission from the federal court hearing the enforcement action to have a federal appeals court rule on two of the Commission’s central legal theories in advance of trial. These are whether (1) “a defendant’s large futures position, coupled with an alleged intent to affect market prices but absent any other false communications to the market” is prohibited “false signaling” manipulation and (2) whether the prices that result following a defendant’s purchases of futures positions in a market that cause futures and cash prices to converge are artificial prices. In papers filed with the federal court, the CFTC argued that the defendants should not be permitted to file an appeal at this time because neither of the legal issues raised by them “accurately reflects the factual allegations in the Commission’s Complaint.” Moreover, said the CFTC, even if the defendants were to prevail on both their questions on appeal, the ruling would not end “the market manipulation aspect of this case.” As a result, said the CFTC, defendants’ motion did not meet “the high bar set for interlocutory appeals” under applicable law. (Click here for background on Kraft Foods’ and Mondelez Global’s attempted appeal in the article, “Kraft Foods Seeks to Appeal Trial Court Ruling on CFTC Manipulation Theories” in the January 24, 2016 edition of Bridging the Week.)