US regulators to share information on oil-manipulation probes

12 April 2011 17:34  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have agreed to share non-public information when conducting investigations on oil and gasoline markets, they said on Tuesday.

The memorandum of understanding between the regulators would help the FTC enforce its petroleum market manipulation rule, which prohibits fraudulent manipulation of US petroleum markets, and it would help the CFTC in pursuing manipulation in oil markets, they said.

“It is important for regulators to share information to be able to pursue market manipulation wherever it arises,” CFTC chairman Gary Gensler said.  

FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz added: “With gasoline prices on the rise, we are committed to doing all we can to ensure that petroleum markets are competitive.”

The agencies said they will ensure that the confidentiality of non-public information is maintained. 

Both theFTC and CFTC have the authority to take legal action to stop fraud-based manipulation of the petroleum markets. 

In addition, the CFTC has exclusive jurisdiction to regulate exchanges and to clear organisations and intermediaries in the US futures industry. 

As reported by ICIS, the CFTC in recent years imposed financial penalties in a number cases involving trading irregularities, amid pressure from the US Congress and the chemical industry in particular to crack down on market manipulation.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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