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BUSINESS

Five energy firms hit with €32.4m in fines for fixing gasoline prices

Repsol faces highest cost after watchdog finds evidence of unfair trade practices

Repsol will have to pay €20 million in fines.
Repsol will have to pay €20 million in fines.

The CNMC stock market watchdog has slapped five Spanish energy firms with a combined €32.4 million in fines for gasoline price fixing and other unfair trade practices.

Repsol, Cepsa, Disa, Galp and Meroil coordinated prices for gasoline and other fuel products, as well as exchanging inside information and agreeing to a non-aggression pact, the CMNC ruled.

Repsol will have to pay the highest amount (€20 million) while Cespa was ordered to pay €10 million.

Repsol company officials have said they will appeal the ruling, which was passed by a three-to-two vote by the CNMC board.

The investigation was opened in July 2013 by the now-defunct CNC trade commission, which was replaced by the CNMC.

The fines come at a tense moment in relations between the CNMC and Repsol, which recently asked that the head of the commission, José María Martín, and two other board members recuse themselves from the investigation. The CNMC refused the request.