Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Billion fine threatens: EU raises Gazprom abuse of market power – Reuters

problems for Gazprom

Now the European Union laments: The Commission will chalk the oil company too much market dominance in

(photo: dpa).

Brussels The EU Commission, the Russian energy giant Gazprom buttoned ago because of the possibility of misuse of its market power in Eastern Europe. The Brussels competition watchdog on Wednesday sent a statement of objections to the state-controlled gas giant. Gazprom infringes according to the preliminary results of the investigation, the EU antitrust rules by the company was pursuing a comprehensive strategy to foreclose the Central and Eastern European gas markets, the Commission informed. Affected were Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and the three Baltic states.

“By separating the national gas markets Gazprom could ask prices that we currently consider to be inappropriate,” said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. Gazprom called the allegations unfounded. It was expected that the process would be resolved within the framework of existing arrangements between Russia and the EU. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the process “totally unacceptable.” The EU try to apply new rules from the third energy package on old contracts.

The European Commission accused the company before, including the possibility of its customers restrict to resell the gas purchased in other states. The definition is especially the Ukraine is concerned, will get more gas from Central Europe after the government in Moscow has the neighboring country already turned down twice because of a dispute over unpaid bills on the gas. Gazprom could also in five EU countries requires unfair prices and have forged in Poland and Bulgaria supplies to commitments by wholesalers for the use of infrastructure such as gas pipelines, said the cartel investigations.

The EU buys around 30 percent of their natural gas from Russia. In some countries of Eastern Europe is the dependence on Gazprom for up to 100 percent. The EU is trying to reduce this dependency by creating an energy Union.


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