On November 18, 2013, Berger & Montague,
P.C. filed a proposed class action on behalf of traders of Brent
Crude Oil futures contracts against Royal Dutch Shell plc, BP plc,
Statoil ASA, Morgan Stanley, Trafigura Beheer B.V., Trafigura AG,
Phibro Trading LLC, and Vitol, S.A. (collectively, "Defendants")
during the period of at least 2002 through the present.
The complaint alleges that the Defendants violated the
antitrust laws and the Commodity Exchange Act.
In its complaint, Berger & Montague
alleges that that Defendants used Platts reporting service's
methodology for reporting prices to control the Brent Crude Oil
physical market and thereby to manipulate Brent Crude Oil prices
and the prices of Brent Crude oil futures contracts traded on the
New York Mercantile Exchange ("NYMEX") and the Intercontinental
Exchange ("ICE"). The European Commission has an investigation into
this sort of conduct and Shell, BP and Statoil have been named
publicly as entities subject to the investigation. The
complaint is available here.