Wednesday, April 22, 2015

EU opens antitrust case against Russia's Gazprom gas giant

The European Union is opening an antitrust case against Russia's state-controlled Gazprom energy giant amid worsening relations between Brussels and Moscow.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Wednesday that Gazprom's behavior in central and eastern European member states, where it sometimes almost fully controls the gas market, amounts to an abuse of its dominant position.

Vestager said she is concerned that Gazprom imposes contractual obligations "preventing gas from flowing from certain Central Eastern European countries to others, hindering cross-border competition" and allowing the multinational to charge unfair prices.

The move comes at a time when the EU has already imposed economic and political sanctions on Russia for its involvement in the violence in eastern Ukraine.

Russia's Gazprom said on Wednesday it strictly adhered to all the laws in countries where it operates, in response to the European Union charging the top natural gas producer with abusing its dominant position in Eastern Europe.

It also said its gas pricing mechanism in the European Union was in line with other producers' and exporters' standards.

Gazprom has 12 weeks to react to Wednesday's EU allegations.



  1. EU charges Gazprom with market abuse...

    The European Commission (EC) has charged Gazprom with abusing its dominant market position in Central and Eastern European gas markets.

    The Commission said its preliminary view was that the Russian energy giant was breaking EU anti-trust rules.

    It added Gazprom may have limited its customers' ability to resell gas, potentially allowing it to charge unfair prices in some EU member states.

    Gazprom rejected the Commission's objections, calling them "unfounded".

    "Gazprom strictly adheres to all the norms of international law and national legislation in the countries where the Gazprom Group conducts business," the company said in a statement.

    It now has 12 weeks to respond to the Commission's allegations.

    The move could further sour relations with Moscow, which are already strained over the Ukraine crisis.

    Brussels began investigating state-controlled Gazprom three years ago, but Moscow says the Commission's allegations are politically motivated.
    'Legal consequences'

    The EU's new anti-monopoly chief, Margrethe Vestager, said the Commission had found that Gazprom "may have built artificial barriers preventing gas from flowing from certain Central European countries to others, hindering cross-border competition.

    "Keeping national gas markets separate also allowed Gazprom to charge prices that we, at this stage, consider to be unfair.

    "If our concerns were confirmed, Gazprom would have to face the legal consequences of its behaviour."

    Brussels' competition authority has the power to impose fines of up to 10% of Gazprom's global

  2. L'Union européenne accuse le géant russe Gazprom d'abus de position dominante...

    La Comission européenne a ouvert mercredi une procédure pour abus de position dominante en Europe contre le géant énergétique russe Gazprom. Cette décision intervient dans un contexte de relations tendues entre la Russie et l'Europe.

    Margrethe Vestager a encore frappé. La commissaire européenne à la Concurrence a annoncé, mercredi 22 avril, l'ouverture d'une procédure contre le géant russe Gazprom, l'accusant d'abus de position dominante en Europe. Le groupe russe a contesté, dans un communiqué, "les objections formulées par la Commission européenne [qui sont] infondées".

    C'est le deuxième poids très lourd économique que la commissaire danoise décide de poursuivre en moins de deux semaines. Elle avait déjà fait beaucoup parler d'elle en lançant une procédure similaire contre Google le 14 avril.

    Mais s'attaquer à Gazprom est aussi une décision politiquement sensible. Le géant de l'énergie est, en effet, perçu comme l'un des principaux alliés économiques du Kremlin. Cette procédure intervient alors que les relations entre l'Europe et la Russie sont très dégradées, sur fond de crise


Only News

EL News

Blog Widget by LinkWithin