BP accused of price fixing . . . again

Stephen Beard Dec 14, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

DOUG KRIZNER: British oil giant BP is in the hot seat again. The company says it could face charges of price fixing. This time in unleaded market for gasoline. From London, Stephan Beard reports.


STEPHEN BEARD: BP has already been accused of trying to corner the propane market as well as massage crude oil prices.

Now the company says it could be facing legal action on yet another front: A U.S. futures regulator has alleged that BP manipulated the price of unleaded gasoline.

The allegations relate to trading on one day four years ago. A

All this reflects a general concern in Congress about alleged energy market manipulation, but Carola Hoyos of the Financial Times does not believe there is a major problem here.

CAROLA HOYOS: Anytime the oil price is high, or the electricity price is high, or the gas price is high, Congress worries about these things. And so I’m a little cynical about this. I think there’s a really good dash of politics involved here.

BP has strongly denied any improper trading in the unleaded gasoline market.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.