FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          AT
FRIDAY, JULY 18, 1997                              (202) 616-2771
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


        Settlement will Keep Firms from Exchanging Broker 
                      Commission Information

     WASHINGTON, D.C.  -- The Department of Justice reached a
settlement today with three major oil trading firms that will
prohibit the companies from exchanging broker commission
information involving contracts for Brent blend crude oil--a
crude oil produced in the North Sea.

     The three colluding firms--AIG Trading Corporation, BP
Exploration & Oil Inc. and Cargill International S.A.--discussed
the information in order to lower the commissions they paid to
brokers in the U.S. for these contracts, the Department said.

     As a result of today's settlement, the firms will no longer
be able to conspire to reduce broker commissions.

     Joel I. Klein, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge
of the Department's Antitrust Division, said, "This case
demonstrates the Antitrust Division's continuing commitment to
investigate and prosecute agreements in the financial markets
that violate the antitrust laws." 
     A Brent spread contract is the simultaneous purchase and
sale of two contracts, for different months forward, for Brent
crude oil.  A contract for difference, or CFD, is a commercial
transaction based on the difference between the current published
price for loaded Brent crude oil and the future price for Brent
crude oil to be loaded on an unspecified future date.  The
trading firms had been paying separate full commissions to the
brokers for both paired contracts and wanted to reduce the amount
they paid.  Broker commissions are paid for arranging the
purchase and sale of Brent spread contracts and contracts for

     The Department's Antitrust Division filed a civil complaint
today against the companies in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York in Manhattan.  At the same time,
the Department filed a proposed settlement that would resolve the
lawsuit if approved by the court.  

     The complaint alleges that AIG, BP, Cargill and others
conspired from July 1992 through May 1993 to exchange current and
prospective brokerage commission information on Brent spread
contracts and CFDs in order to lower brokerage commissions paid
to brokers in the U.S.  Representatives of the companies carried
out the conspiracy by telephone and in meetings in Europe and the

     Today's settlement prohibits AIG, BP, and Cargill from
agreeing with any other trader to fix, lower, raise, stabilize or
maintain any brokerage commission for Brent spread contracts and
CFDs or exchange any information for these purposes. 
     The companies will also be prohibited from requesting or
advising other traders to lower, raise or change any brokerage
commissions for Brent spread contracts and CFDs. 
     AIG Trading Corp. is a subsidiary of AIG Trading Group Inc.,
which is a subsidiary of American International Group Inc. 
American International Group and its subsidiaries comprise a
large diversified financial service organization operating in 130
countries and jurisdictions.  AIG Trading is headquartered in
Greenwich, Connecticut. 
     BP Exploration & Oil is headquartered in Cleveland.  
     Cargill International is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

     As required by the Antitrust and Procedures and Penalties
Act, the proposed stipulation and order will be published in the
Federal Register, along with the Department's competitive impact
statement.  Any person may submit written comments concerning the
proposed decree during a 60-day comment period to Ralph T.
Giordano, Chief, New York Office, U.S. Department of Justice,
Antitrust Division, 26 Federal Plaza, Room 3630, New York, New
York 10278, 212-264-0390. 

     At the conclusion of the 60-day comment period, the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York in
Manhattan, may enter the consent decree upon finding it serves
the public's interest.