WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is seeking to intervene and temporarily halt fact-finding by a group of localities in their class action suit against Wells Fargo & Co. and 15 other banks, broker-dealers and investment brokers for allegedly conspiring to rig bids and fix prices of investment and derivatives contracts in the municipal market.

Justice’s antitrust division recently made the request to U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein, who ordered the department to file a motion on the matter by April 27, according to a court filing.

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