September 04, 2012 21:50
European Commission opens antitrust proceedings against Gazprom - statement (Part 2)
MOSCOW. Sept 4 (Interfax) - The European Commission has opened formal proceedings into whether Gazprom (RTS: GAZP) "might be hindering competition in Central and Eastern European gas markets, in breach of EU antitrust rules," the commission said in a statement on its website.
"An opening of proceedings does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation; it only means that the Commission will treat the case as a matter of priority," it says.
"The Commission has concerns that Gazprom may be abusing its dominant market position in upstream gas supply markets in Central and Eastern European Member States, in breach of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union," it said.
The commission cites three anti-competitive practices possibly being employed by Gazprom.
"First, Gazprom may have divided gas markets by hindering the free flow of gas across Member States. Second, Gazprom may have prevented the diversification of supply of gas. Finally, Gazprom may have imposed unfair prices on its customers by linking the price of gas to oil prices," it said.
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