The Commission confirmed that on 14 May 2013 it carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of several companies active in the crude oil, refined oil products and biofuel sectors in two EU Member States and in one EEA Member State. The Commission has reason to believe that the inspected companies may have colluded in reporting distorted prices to a Price Reporting Agency to manipulate the published prices for a number of oil and biofuel products. Furthermore, the Commission has concerns that the companies may have prevented others from participating in the price assessment process, with a view to distorting published prices. The prices assessed and published by Price Reporting Agencies serve as benchmarks for trade in the physical and financial derivative markets for a number of commodity products in Europe and globally. Even small distortions of assessed prices may have a huge impact on the prices of crude oil, refined oil products and biofuels purchases and sales, potentially harming final consumers. The Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the relevant national competition authorities as well as from the EFTA Surveillance Authority in the EEA Member State. Source: Commission Press Release 14/5/2013