News / Economy

EU Prepares to Charge Gazprom in Antitrust Case

FILE - Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom faces charges of abusing its dominant position in central and eastern Europe, which could lead to a fine of up to $15 billion.FILE - Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom faces charges of abusing its dominant position in central and eastern Europe, which could lead to a fine of up to $15 billion.
x
FILE - Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom faces charges of abusing its dominant position in central and eastern Europe, which could lead to a fine of up to $15 billion.
FILE - Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom faces charges of abusing its dominant position in central and eastern Europe, which could lead to a fine of up to $15 billion.
Reuters
EU regulators are preparing to charge Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom with abusing its dominant position in central and eastern Europe, the EU's antitrust chief said on Thursday, in a move that could lead to a fine of up to $15 billion.
 
The European Commission's action against Gazprom is likely to ratchet up the tension between Europe and Russia, which has criticized EU attempts to boost energy market competition and end its over-reliance on Russian supplies.
 
It could also play into tensions with Russia over the EU's plans to build closer trade ties with six former Soviet republics, including Ukraine. Moscow has threatened to raise Ukraine's gas prices or limit supplies if Kyiv signs a free-trade agreement with the EU in November.
 
The comments by EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia come after a year-long investigation and raids of several Gazprom units and its clients in central and eastern Europe. Gazprom supplies a quarter of Europe's gas consumption needs.
 
The EU antitrust regulator said at the time that Gazprom may have hindered the free flow of gas across the EU and imposed unfair prices on its customers by linking the price of its gas to oil prices.
 
Speaking at a conference in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, Almunia said the EU's executive was preparing a charge sheet against Gazprom, known as a statement of objections.
 
“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 told an event organized by the Lithuanian Competition Authority.
 
He said the investigation covered Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria.
 
Asked when he would charge Gazprom, Almunia told reporters: “We never pre-commit to deadlines.”
 
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters the Commission planned to take action by the end of the year.
 
Gazprom said it would not comment on the antitrust case. The company, which generated 4.76 trillion roubles ($148 billion) in revenues last year, could stave off a potential fine by offering concessions to settle the case.
 
Following previous EU investigations, the company agreed to scrap a clause preventing Austrian energy group OMV  and Italy's ENI from re-selling gas bought from Gazprom in other markets.
 
Companies can be penalized up to 10 percent of their annual revenues for breaching EU antitrust rules.
 
Lithuania, which has complained to the Commission about Gazprom, is claiming almost $2 billion compensation from the company at an international arbitration in Stockholm for allegedly “unfair” gas prices. It pays more for gas than any other EU state, according to the Commission.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9298
JPY
USD
120.21
GBP
USD
0.6773
CAD
USD
1.2675
INR
USD
62.497

Rates may not be current.