Statement of Objections against Gazprom for abuse of dominance

The European Commission (“Commission”) sent a Statement of Objections to OAO Gazprom (“Gazprom”) on 22.04.2015 for the alleged abuse of its dominant position on the Central and Eastern European gas markets. Thus, Gazprom allegedly committed an infringement against Article 102 TFEU.

Gazprom is a Russian gas supplier with its headquarters in Moscow. It has a dominant position with market shares of 50% to 100% in all gas markets in Central and Eastern Europe. The Russian Federations holds 50% of the shares of Gazprom.

The Commission came to the preliminary conclusion that Gazprom has implemented certain business practices pursuing the partition of the gas markets of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia. In order to achieve this goal, Gazprom had, inter alia, forbidden its customers to resell acquired gas in other countries. Moreover, Gazprom is also being accused of bounding its gas supply with obtaining unrelated commitments from wholesalers concerning gas transportation infrastructure. For example, the gas supply in Bulgaria and Poland was dependent on investment commitments for a pipeline project led by Gazprom. Hence, the Commission claims that Gazprom limited the cross-border transport of natural gas in order to either maintain or strengthen its dominant position in the national markets. Consequently, the Commission assumes that Gazprom demanded artificially high prices for its products due to the incented lack of cross-border competition.

Gazprom currently denies the allegations of the Commission and finds the Statement of Objections to be without merit. The Russian company confirmed in a press release reacting to the Statement of Objections of the Commission that it strictly adheres to the international and relevant national regulations and is looking forward to an acceptable solution based on previous agreements between the Russian government and the European Commission.


Dr. Christina Hummer
Ori Kahn