Energy supplier SSE has been fined more than £2m by the industry watchdog for failing to announce inside information that could have influenced the price of wholesale electricity.
Companies are required to publish such information in an "effective and timely" manner, said energy regulator Ofgem.
The fine can be traced back to a deal SSE struck in March 2016 with National Grid to provide electricity from the company's Fiddler's Ferry power station .
SSE had previously said that it intended to shut the power station in April 2016. The site supplies as much as 3pc of the UK's energy demand at peak times.
The deal between SSE and National Grid made it more likely that the power station would remain open. This announcement was "likely to have a significant effect on wholesale prices, and was therefore inside information", Ofgem said.
But SSE did not disclose the deal, or the fact that Fiddler's Ferry power station was likely to remain open, for another eight days.
It is likely this led to some market participants paying more for wholesale electricity than they should have, Ofgem said.
Jonathan Brearley, chief executive at Ofgem, said: "SSE's failure to publish inside information in a timely and effective manner resulted in market participants trading for four working days under a false impression of supply availability in Britain's electricity market.
"This fine sends a strong message to market participants that they must be familiar with, and keep to, their obligations under Remit [Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency] rules or face enforcement action by Ofgem."
By settling the investigation early, Ofgem said, SSE qualified for a 30pc discount on the total fine of £2.6m. It is the first fine of its kind meted out by the watchdog.
Future failures to publish inside information in the correct timeframe are likely to result in even higher penalties, the regulator added.
Martin Pibworth of SSE said: "SSE takes its market disclosures extremely seriously and acted in good faith… We subsequently understood that Ofgem's interpretation required disclosure to the market at an earlier stage. We admit that our approach was not in line with this requirement.
"SSE did not benefit from disclosing only once the contract was signed and remains committed to clear and transparent rules for all market participants. We will be pressing regulatory authorities for additional guidance for market participants going forward."
- Daniel Sturridge: Striker handed worldwide football ban until June
- Reformed mafia princess who took over her father's criminal business aged 22 reveals he came out of hiding in Italy for the first time in 27 years to celebrate her 50th birthday in Lancashire
- Daniel Sturridge handed worldwide ban
- Inside the WHO's fight to stop false information about coronavirus from spreading
- Sturridge handed FA ban until June for breaching betting rules
- Former U.S. congressman Collins sentenced to 26 months for insider trading
- Sturridge handed four-month ban for betting breaches
- Trabzonspor’s Sturridge handed four-month worldwide ban
- Karl Lagerfeld: Inside His Passionate Life of Fashion, Celebrity, and Choupette
- Magic out of mould: inside the world’s wildest restaurant
- UK's coronavirus battle plan: Britons could face European-style ban on public gatherings and fines for entering 'infected' areas as Boris Johnson warns of 'significant' spread within days
- Seth Rogen’s ‘Interview’: Inside the Film North Korea Really Doesn’t Want You to See
- Inside Uber's 'toxic' work culture and how co-founder Travis Kalanick used ruthless tactics like spying on competitors and poaching their investors to get the ride-hailing app to the top
- On the arsonist’s trail: inside Australia’s worst bushfire catastrophe
- Inside deadliest Taliban attack against Afghan troops
- What is a CISO? Everything you need to know about the Chief Information Security Officer role
- Tribeca Fest 2020 Sets Feature Film Lineup With 95 World Premieres
- Arsonist 'on a mission from God' is jailed for 15 years for terrorising teacher he wrongly claimed was a paedophile, burning down school and torching another innocent man's £1.6m Tudor home
- FA sought six-month Daniel Sturridge ban for betting breaches
- Daniel Sturridge Banned For 4 Months For Breaching Betting Regulations
SSE handed £2m fine for hiding 'inside' information have 674 words, post on www.telegraph.co.uk at September 3, 2020. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.