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PRA offers EU evidence on alleged oil-price rigging

23 May, 2013

The PRA has offered to submit evidence to the European Commission on alleged anti-competitive pricing tactics in the UK fuel market. The move follows last week's raids on three oil companies and oil market data specialist Platts, by EU Commission agents investigating allegations of oil-price fixing.

In a letter to Alexander Italianer, head of the Directorate-General (DG) of Competition at the European Commission in Brussels, PRA chairman Brian Madderson addressed the current EU oil price fixing investigation and offered the PRA’s assistance in the significant inquiry.

Madderson said: “The PRA submitted a formal and detailed complaint to the Office of Fair Trading in February 2012 alleging that the UK fuel market was anti-competitive.

“This complaint, supported by Robert Halfon MP and his cross-party group of backbenchers, led to the OFT's ‘call for information’ in Autumn 2012. Our members submitted yet further evidence of alleged malpractice in the market place leading to a further report to the OFT in December 2012 but still they refused to undertake their own investigation.”

The PRA has stated that both reports could be made available to the Commission’s investigating team along with further evidence from its members.

Madderson continued: “The PRA is also able to provide historical data on the daily wholesale cost of both petrol and diesel in pence per litre for the UK market using our unique BigOil software system. This takes into account the fluctuating $US v £ exchange rate and also the biofuels elements of both standard grades. This is data that we are happy to contribute to this vital investigation.”