EC to Wrap Up Anti-Trust Probe of Gazprom in Spring 2014

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | November 5, 2013, Tuesday // 18:08
Bulgaria: EC to Wrap Up Anti-Trust Probe of Gazprom in Spring 2014 European Commissioner for Energy, German, Gunther Oettinger gives a press briefing on the internal electricity market, at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 05 November 2013. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The EC aims to wrap up the investigation into Gazprom's alleged breaches of antitrust rules by spring 2014, according to European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger.

Speaking Monday in Vilnius, Oettinger, as cited by ITAR-TASS, said that the European Commission needed some more months to finalize the probe.

Experts pointed out, however, that the estimate could prove over-optimistic.

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, who is in charge of the investigation, admitted in September that the EC had not committed to concrete deadlines as regards the investigation.

The EC launched the antitrust investigation at Russia's state-controlled natural-gas monopoly after a complaint of Lithuania in 2012.

The investigation over abuse of dominant position concerns Gazprom's practices in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia.

Gazprom was accused of breaching EU antitrust laws by obstructing the free flow of gas through EU member states and the diversification of gas supply sources and charging customers unfair prices by linking the price of oil with the price of gas.

According to EU law, the fine for violating competition rules may reach 10% of the annual turnover of the company.

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Tags: Gazprom, gas supplies, anti-trust, Guenther Oettinger, EU Energy Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, diversification

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