MPs and energy experts have raised fears motorists have been “taken for a very expensive ride”, after officials searched the offices of BP and Shell for evidence of price-rigging.
The companies are suspected of distorting the oil price since 2002, meaning drivers have potentially been ripped off for more than 10 years.
Over that time, petrol prices have risen dramatically by more than 80 per cent to around 135p per litre.
European investigators, who raided the London offices of BP and Shell, said the alleged price-rigging could have had a “huge impact” on the cost of oil, including the price of fuel for consumers.
The investigation into market-fixing already has echoes of the Libor scandal, which saw the banks falsely report key interest rates used to calculate mortgages.
It cost several British banks hundreds of millions of pounds in fines.
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