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Watchdogs join oil giants on rack in price-fix case

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 08.47.44It is not the first time oil companies have been in regulators’ cross hairs. In September 2006, the European Commission fined 14 firms €266.7m (£224.8m) for rigging the price of bitumen over eight years in the Netherlands. Shell received the biggest penalty.

FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES Page 9, 19 May 2013

Watchdogs join oil giants on rack in price-fix case

After whistleblowers’ claims of rigging failed, Brussels is trying to prove it

Extracts from the article by Karl West

It was June last year, and Halfon had just received an email from an oil trader who wanted to expose the tricks used to manipulate oil prices.

Abbott was sent to make sure the person purporting to be a trader was not a crank.

First impressions were good. The middle-aged man was dressed in a smart navy suit, and it was soon clear that he had a “forensic” knowledge of the oil futures market.

It is not the first time oil companies have been in regulators’ cross hairs. In September 2006, the European Commission fined 14 firms €266.7m (£224.8m) for rigging the price of bitumen over eight years in the Netherlands. Shell received the biggest penalty.

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