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Commodities trader sues BP, Shell and Statoil for alleged price fixing

(Reuters) – A commodities trader has filed suit against BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Statoil in a U.S. federal court, accusing the companies of colluding to fix prices in North Sea Brent crude oil.

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Thu May 23, 2013 4:33pm EDT

(Reuters) – A commodities trader filed suit against BP Plc (BP.L), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) and Statoil (STL.OL) in a U.S. federal court, accusing the companies of colluding to fix prices in North Sea Brent crude oil.

Prime International Trading Ltd, in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in the courthouse in White Plains, New York on Wednesday, accused the oil companies of misreporting prices of trades in the North Sea benchmark, which sets the price of about 70 percent of the world’s oil.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of a European Commission probe into potential market abuse involving the reporting of false prices to price-setting agency Platts, a unit of McGraw-Hill (MHFI.N). Authorities last week raided the London bureau of Platts and the offices of the three oil majors named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit accused the oil companies of reporting “inaccurate, misleading and false information” about Brent crude to Platts. Platts’ information is used to price and settle oil contracts.

Phone calls and emails to the oil companies seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Filed in the U.S. Court for the Southern District of New York, the lawsuit alleges violations of the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act and Sherman Antitrust Law.

(Reporting by Bernard Vaughan, additional reporting by Joshua Schneyer; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

SOURCE

Case Information

Case Title

Prime International Trading, Ltd. v. BP Plc et al

Court

New York Southern

Nature of Suit

850(Securities/Commodities)

Case Number

7:13-cv-03473

Judge

Judge Kenneth M. Karas

Date Filed

May 22, 2013

Sections

  • Class Action
  • Competition
  • Energy
  • New York
  • Securities

Law Firms Mentioned

  • Lowey Dannenberg

Companies Mentioned

  • BP p.l.c. (NYSE:BP)
  • Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE:RDSA)
  • Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO)

Government Agencies Mentioned

  • European Commission
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