The European Commission is looking into whether BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Norwegian company Statoil may have “colluded” to manipulate oil product prices.
The offices of all three were raided, along with the largest price-reporting agency Platts.
So far there have been no allegations of wrongdoing. The companies said they were cooperating.
Italy’s Eni revealed it had been asked to provide information but was not under investigation.
Commission spokesman Antoine Colombani explained why the investigation has been launched: “Even small distortions of assessed prices may have a huge impact on the price of crude oil, refined oil products and bio-fuel purchases and sales, potentially harming final consumers.”
The probe comes after French energy firm Total last year wrote to regulators questioning the way oil prices were determined.
That put the spotlight on the work of the price reporting agencies.
Platts and its smaller competitors argue that their systems are not susceptible to manipulation, but critics in the oil industry disagree.
It is the biggest cross-border probe since the Libor scandal. Authorities have sharpened scrutiny of financial benchmarks around the world since slapping large fines on some of the world’s biggest banks for rigging interest rate benchmarks.
“If it turns out to be the case that hard-pressed motorists and consumers have been hit in the pocket by manipulation in the market, the full force of the law should be down upon them. There is no doubt about that,” Britain’s Energy Secretary Ed Davey told the UK parliament.
London is home to some of the biggest trading desks in the oil business.
- 1Russia-Turkey trade in question as Moscow to ‘reconsider’ ties with Ankara
- 2Spain’s solar energy firm Abengoa begins insolvency proceedings
- 3New 20 euro notes come into play on Wednesday
- 4OPEC ‘set to keep pumping oil’ despite global glut
- 5Thomas Cook reports first profit in five years despite security fears
- 1Coordinated terror attacks leave dozens dead in Paris
- 2euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 31000-year-old Bible found in Turkey
- 4Bomb and several shootings in central Paris – reports of fatalities and injuries
- 5International news | euronews, latest international news
- 6world Weather | euronews: world ten day weather forecast
- 7European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 8Police hunting Paris attacks mastermind battle with suspects in heart of Paris
- 9latest sci-tech news : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 10Humans consume more than planet can produce on ‘Earth Overshoot Day’
- 11International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 12Special Reports : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 13Business news and finance news | euronews: international economic and finance news
- 14Middle East - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 15New temporary spiritual leader of Muslim Brotherhood appointed
- 16Fukushima: Tepco admits contaminated water leak into the Pacific
- 17‘Anonymous’ hackers’ group declares ‘war’ on ISIL
- 18Extras : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 19‘Maxed-out:’ Jordan’s King Abdullah II’s frank warning over Syria crisis
- 20Iraq: deadly car bombs kill more than 60 in Baghdad
latest economy news
Russia-Turkey trade in question as Moscow to ‘reconsider’ ties with Ankara
OPEC ‘set to keep pumping oil’ despite global glut
Thomas Cook reports first profit in five years despite security fears
Spain’s solar energy firm Abengoa begins insolvency proceedings
Stocks fall as investors seek safety after Turkey downs Russian jet
Wires > Business
- 00:28 CET Tesco in $12 million U.S. settlement over accounting scandal
- 23:14 CET Brazil corruption probe widens; Senate leader, BTG Pactual …
- 21:56 CET Mud from Brazil dam burst is toxic, U.N. says
- 21:41 CET Rio Tinto set to approve $1 billion bauxite expansion-media
- 20:28 CET Europe’s central banks in quandary as Fed tightening nears
- 19:46 CET Ball offers to sell 11 plants in bid for EU okay for Rexam buy -…
- 19:36 CET Irish taxman sees corporate tax bonanza this year and next
- 18:33 CET Barclays settles with U.S. investors over Libor manipulation