January 27, 2020 / 6:59 PM / 6 months ago

Abengoa and Alcogroup to contest EU antitrust charges at hearing -source

BRUSSELS, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Spanish ethanol producer Abengoa and Belgian rival Alcogroup will make their final stand against EU antitrust charges over alleged rigging of ethanol benchmarks at a hearing on Tuesday, a source close to the matter said on Monday.

The case started with raids by the European Commission in 2013, leading to an investigation which found that Abengoa, Alcogroup and Swedish company Lantmannen may have colluded to manipulate benchmarks published by energy and commodities information provider S&P Global Platts.

S&P Global Platts has not been charged with wrongdoing and the EU dropped Shell, BP and Statoil from its investigation before issuing the charges in 2018.

Abengoa and Alcogroup will argue their case at a two-day hearing in front of senior officials from the Commission and national agencies, which could ultimately fine the companies up to 10% of their global turnover or drop the case.

The Commission declined to comment and Abengoa and Alcogroup were not immediately reachable for comment outside business hours.

Lantmannen is seeking to settle the case separately and will not be at the hearing, the source said. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee Editing by David Goodman)

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