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Investigators seek breakthrough a year after EU raided Big Oil

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 01.06.41By Gaspard Sebag, Lananh Nguyen and Andy Hoffman: Bloomberg News 12 May 2014

Twelve months after raiding oil companies and Platts in a hunt for evidence of possible manipulation of price benchmarks, European Union officials are looking for a breakthrough. On May 14 last year, EU investigators had to leap into a taxi cab to Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA)’s trading floor on the Strand in central London after arriving at the wrong destination — the company’s London head office on the opposite side of the River Thames – according to one person familiar with the antitrust raids on that day. Lawyers say such mishaps are common during so-called surprise inspections — especially where officials lack the guiding hand of an immunity applicant. “All Shell companies fully cooperated with the EU commission during the inspection at our offices and will continue to do so as the commission’s investigation proceeds,” Ross Whittam, a company spokesman said.

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