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GREECE FINES BP, SHELL $80M FOR PRICE-FIXING

FINANCIAL POST CANADA

Canwest News Service 

Published: Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ATHENS – Greece’s state competition watchdog has fined British energy giant BP and Anglo-Dutch counterpart Royal Dutch Shell the equivalent of almost $80 million Cdn for price-fixing, the body said Tuesday.

The two companies had a “concerted practice” of setting discount policy in gas stations around the country, which amounted to price-fixing, the competition commission ruled.

At a Nov. 20 meeting, the commission voted by majority to slap a $48-million fine on BP Hellas and a $31-million fine on Shell Hellas.

“The commission found that (the two companies) had no intention of competing against each other and converged their net wholesale prices through proportionally adjusted discounts,” the watchdog said.

Failure to comply with the ruling within 90 days will incur an additional penalty of $16,000 a day, the commission added.

The ruling is open to appeal at Greece’s administrative courts.

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