October 20, 2014 / 4:47 PM / 3 years ago

Platts says not charged with wrongdoing after EU ethanol trade raids

LONDON, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Platts has not been charged with wrongdoing in connection with European Union antitrust regulator raids on ethanol trading companies, a spokeswoman for the energy pricing agency said on Monday.

Last week the European Commission raided Alcogroup and Lantmannen Agroetanol as they widened a 17 month long investigation into suspected rigging of oil and biofuels price benchmarks.

“The Commission has indications that Platts may have prevented one or several companies from taking part in the process of price estimation under the MOC method and particularly from adhering to the window,” said a French language commission document seen by Reuters, referring to Platts’ market on close (MOC) pricing method.

“The Commission suspects Platts of having adopted this behaviour either independently, or in agreement with Alcogroup and/or its subsidiaries ... and/or with other companies,” it said.

Kathleen Tanzy of Platts said in an emailed statement to Reuters: “Platts was not a subject of the EC’s unannounced inspections on Oct. 7 and we cannot comment on the content of the EC document referenced in media reports as we have not been provided with it. Platts has not been charged with any wrongdoing in connection with the EC’s ongoing inquiry.”

Platts is part of McGraw Hill Financials Inc and its price assessment process is used to close deals worth billions of dollars. The Platts window or MOC system is a daily half-hour period in which the agency determines cash prices through a series of bids, offers and trades.

The EU’s probe began with raids at offices of Shell , BP, Statoil, Argos Energies and Spain’s Abengoa in May 2013, as well as Platts.

Thomson Reuters, parent of Reuters news, competes with Platts in providing news and information to the oil market. (Reporting by Simon Falush and Alex Lawler, editing by William Hardy)

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