Platts subpoenaed over energy prices

15 October 2002 – Platts, a media company specializing in energy markets, said Friday it received a subpoena from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission seeking documents, employee information, customer lists and policies related to its energy-price indexes.

American Electric Power Co., Columbus, Ohio, and Dynegy Inc., Houston, have disclosed that some of their traders provided inaccurate pricing information to Platts and other independent publishers of price data, suggesting the traders may have attempted to manipulate prices in such a manner.

Platts, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos., said the subpoena, sent last week, requests a list of current and former Platts employees responsible for gathering, editing and verifying price information that the company publishes. It also demands any information that “indicates any person’s knowledge of false, inaccurate or otherwise incorrect pricing and volume information” in the price-gathering process, according to a news story carried Friday on the company’s Web site and confirmed by a Platts spokesman.

The CFTC, along with other federal agencies, are conducting a wide-ranging probe of energy-trading practices. The Platts spokesman said the group plans to cooperate in the probe, adding there isn’t any indication that Platts’s employees were aware of incorrect information being supplied to its indexes.

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