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Statoil and Hydro in unlawful price-fixing

The competition authority in Sweden has pulled Statoil and Hydro to court for unlawful price-fixing on gas.

According to the authorities, the three Swedish companies OK-Q8, Preem and Svenska Shell have also participated in the illegal price-fixing.

The case against the companies started Monday in the Swedish special court Marknadsdomstolen. The authorities started by presented their evidence indicating that the cooperation existed during the entire fall of 1999. The five companies will get the opportunity to rebut the statements before the case is scheduled to be completed in November. A final decision is not expected until after New Years.

The five oil companies have earlier been deemed guilty of price-fixing at Stockholm county court, but the fines given only amounted to SEK 52 million (USD 7.03 million) for all five of them.

The competition authorities have therefore taken the case to the special court with the demand to increase the fine for Statoil to SEK 125 million (USD 16.58 million), and SEK 37 million (USD 5 million) for Norsk Hydro. In addition, the Swedish authorities demands that the companies pay for the court costs from 1999 until today, something which will total a considerable amount.

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