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Ten oil wholesalers were hit with a court order Wednesday to pay fines ranging from 3 million yen to 80 million yen for rigging bids in 1998 to sell petroleum products to the Defense Agency.

The Tokyo High Court also sentenced nine officials of seven oil companies to suspended prison terms ranging from six to 18 months for violating the Antimonopoly Law.

Prosecutors had demanded fines ranging from 5 million yen to 80 million yen and prison terms of six to 18 months for the officials.

The companies are Cosmo Oil Co., Nippon Oil Corp., Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., Idemitsu Kosan Co., Fuso Sekiyu K.K., Tonen General Sekiyu K.K., Kyushu Oil Co., Kygnus Sekiyu K.K., Taiyo Oil Co. and Taiho Industries Co.

Japan Energy Corp. was also indicted but was dropped after it merged its oil operations into Nippon Mining Holdings Inc. in October. However, the case against one of its officials continued and he received a suspended prison term.

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