Monday

20th Nov 2017

EU launches anti-trust case against Gazprom

  • Gazprom could face a €10 billion anti-trust fine from the EU (Photo: qwertyuiop)

The EU has started legal action against Russian energy giant Gazprom, the bloc's competition chief said on Thursday (3 October).

Speaking at an event to mark European Competition Day in Lithuanian capital Vilnius, EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia confirmed that the EU executive had started to draw up a formal charge sheet against the firm.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He refused to speculate on the time frame of the case, which comes against a backdrop of increased tensions between Russia and the EU over Russian pressure on former Soviet states to eschew EU integration.

"It would be premature to anticipate when the next steps would be taken in this investigation, but we have now moved to the phase of preparing a statement of objections," he said.

But a statement published by the Lithuanian government the same day revealed that the commission would complete its work by spring 2014.

Almunia confirmed that the investigation covers Bulgaria, the Czech republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

The development is a significant victory for Lithuania, whose complaint on alleged Gazprom price-gouging prompted the launch of the EU enquiry back in 2011.

The Baltic country has made EU energy policy in general key priority of its six month presidency of the EU.

Its Prime Minister, Algirdas Butkevicius, on Thursday described the EU move as being “of crucial importance” to his country.

The anti-Gazprom claims say it is abusing its dominant market position to demand extortionate prices for gas and preventing countries from diversifying their energy supply.

Lithuania says it pays 35 percent more than Germany for gas under its contract with Gazprom.

For its part, the energy giant has said that it has received no formal communication from the EU executive and has made no attempt to offer concessions in a bid to reach a settlement.

Under EU rules, Gazprom, whose turnover hit 4.76 trillion roubles (€109 billion) in 2012, could face a fine of up to 10 percent of their annual revenues.

The €1.1 billion fine levied on software giant Intel in 2009 is, as yet, the largest single antitrust fine imposed by the EU.

Time for EU energy union, says Polish PM

The European Union must create an energy union to secure its supply and reduce its dependence on Russian gas, Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said.

Russia to file WTO lawsuit against EU energy laws

Russia is to file its second formal complaint against the EU with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over the EU's so-called 'Third Energy Package,' according to reports on Wednesday.

Opinion

The EU and Gazprom

It is of the utmost importance that the European Commission counters the Russian gas empire with the rule of law.

News in Brief

  1. Bonn climate talks extend into Friday evening
  2. UK needs to move on Brexit by early December, Tusk says
  3. Puigdemont extradition decision postponed to December
  4. Ireland wants written UK guarantees to avoid hard border
  5. US did not obstruct climate talks, says German minister
  6. EU signs social declaration
  7. Puigdemont to be heard by Belgian judges
  8. Steep fall in migrants reaching EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  2. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  4. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  5. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'
  6. UNICEFAhead of the African Union - EU Summit, Survey Highlights Impact of Conflict on Education
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council Calls for Closer Co-Operation on Foreign Policy
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTrilogue Negotiations - Striking the Balance Between Transparency and Efficiency
  9. Access EuropeProspects for US-EU Relations Under the Trump Administration - 28 November 2017
  10. World Vision20 November: Exchange of Views at the EP on Children Affected by the Syria Crisis
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable Growth the Nordic Way: Climate Solutions for a Sustainable Future
  12. EU2017EEHow Data Fuels Estonia's Economy

Latest News

  1. Decision day for EU agencies relocation race
  2. EU keeps former Soviet states at arm's length
  3. EU leaders make pledge on social issues after populist backlash
  4. EU agencies and eastern neighbours This WEEK
  5. Germany slams Dutch call for more ambitious EU climate goal
  6. Mind the gap: inequality in our cities
  7. Climate activists 'disappointed' with EU at climate talks
  8. Davis outlines UK vision on Brexit in Berlin