The European Commission has opened formal proceedings to investigate whether Gazprom, the Russian producer and supplier of natural gas, might be hindering competition in Central and Eastern European gas markets, in breach of EU antitrust rules. 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. IP/12/937
The Commission is investigating three suspected anti-competitive practices in Central and Eastern Europe. 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.
According to reports in New Europe http://www.neurope.eu/article/eu-gazprom-probe-threatens-ties Putin as well as Gazprom itself have reacted to this.
The investigation was an attempt in a time of crisis to shift the financial burden of subsidizing the eastern European economies to “somebody else’s shoulders…but I don’t think it is constructive,” he said.
“I sincerely hope that through business-oriented, friendly dialog…between our economic entities, Russian companies, and European Commission, we would be able to find a way out of the situation with no damage done to either side,” Putin said