Unannounced inspections bythe European Commission took place at various affiliates ofGazprom in Europe earlier this week, aswell assome ofits customers, over alleged breaches ofEUantitrust rules to do withthe transactions ofgas.
The company said they felt hard done by and that they had in fact always adhered to international law: “Gazprom was not informed ofthe existence ofany allegations orcomplaints, and thus could not offer its co-operation which would most likely lead tosolving all issues.
“Terms and conditions ofGazprom’s contractual relationship with customers are determined byinternational legal obligations, commercial interests and market conditions, and are based onthe principles ofequal partnership and full compliance with applicable laws.”
The EU said in a statement: “The Commission suspects exclusionary behaviour, such as market partitioning, obstacles to network access, barriers to supply diversification, as well as possible exploitative behaviour, such as excessive pricing. Any such behaviour could be in breach of EU antitrust rules that prohibit abuse of dominant positions and restrictive business practices.”
The Russian state-owned gas producer claimed to be ‘a pioneer’ inthe liberalisation ofthe European markets, and said they had always been asupporter ofcompetition inthe gas market.
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