Brent Crude Oil Price‐Fixing: Have We Seen This Before?

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Law360, New York (August 01, 2013, 1:23 PM ET) ‐‐ The recently filed cases against BP PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Statoil ASA alleging manipulation of Brent crude oil prices,1 and the resulting manipulative effect on the price of Brent crude oil futures traded on futures exchanges, may be a case of history repeating itself. The allegations in these new complaints are very similar to those made in the well‐known 2004 commodities class action In re Natural Gas Commodity Litigation. The Natural Gas plaintiffs similarly alleged that manipulation of physical natural gas prices affected the prices of natural gas futures traded on futures exchanges.2

1. To date, seven class action complaints, containing similar allegations and claims, have been filed in the Southern District of New York: Benvenuto v. BP p.l.c., et al., Case No. 13‐cv‐04142; Prime International Trading, Ltd. v. BP plc, et al., Case No. 13‐cv‐03473; Smith v. BP plc, et al., Case No. 13‐cv‐ 03944; Sevy v. BP plc, et al., Case No. 13‐cv‐03587; Port 22, LLC, et al., v. BP p.l.c., et al., Case No. 13‐cv‐ 04938; White Oak Fund LP v. BP plc, et. al., Case No. 13‐cv‐04553; and Karkut v. Royal Dutch Shell plc, et al., Case No. 13‐cv‐04872.
2. See In re Natural Gas Commodity Litig., 337 F. Supp. 2d 498, 503‐04 (S.D.N.Y. 2004).

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