FTC Plans New Rules for Oil Traders

FTC Plans New Rules for Oil Traders

The Federal Trade Commission plans to come up with rules by the end of the year to enforce a new law against price manipulation and deception in oil-trading markets.

The FTC announced that has taken the first step, seeking public comments, toward developing a regulation on oil industry price manipulation.

As part of a broad energy bill passed in December, Congress gave the FTC expanded authority to pursue price manipulation in the oil markets and made it illegal for anyone to provide false information to federal agencies about oil prices.

Among the questions that the FTC hopes to get a clearer sense of is the definition of market manipulation and what should be considered “false and misleading” information in its enforcement of the new law.

The law makes it illegal to use deception or manipulation in the purchase or sale of crude oil, gasoline or petroleum distillates. Violators could face a civil penalty of up to $1 million.

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