EU-Russia Gas "Reconciliation" Ends Anti-Monopoly Investigation Without Large Bills
The European Union’s seven-year anti-monopoly investigation against Gazprom (Gazprom) ended on the 24th. The two parties ended their settlement with reconciliation. The European Union has not issued a huge amount of fines for Russian gas.
The European Commission notified the results on the same day and announced that it would enter into an eight-year legally binding agreement with Gazprom. According to this, Gazprom will significantly change the business model in the Central and Eastern European natural gas market. Once the contract is breached, the EU can press the gas. 10% of global turnover is subject to huge fines.
Specifically, the Russian gas agreed to change the pricing system in the Central and Eastern European natural gas market and decoupled natural gas prices from oil prices. If the user finds that the price of the Russian gas is higher than the benchmark price of the natural gas market in Western Europe, he has the right to demand a price cut by the Russian gas; if the two parties cannot reach an agreement, the arbitration agency may decide.
For the signing of gas supply contracts with Central and Eastern European countries, Gazprom agreed to cancel the common restrictions, such as breaking the regional restrictions, allowing users to deploy natural gas in all regions, breaking export restrictions, and allowing users to resell natural gas to other countries. At the same time, it is impossible to use the gas supply to forcefully obtain control over the natural gas pipeline.
As a global energy giant, Gazprom is a major supplier to the EU natural gas market, especially the Central and Eastern European natural gas market. In 2011, EU investigators raided the Russian-German office in Germany and other agencies and began anti-monopoly investigations against the Russian gas.
In 2015, the European Union accused Gazprom of abuse of market dominance in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, and eight Central and Eastern European countries, controlling prices, suppressing competition, and violating EU antitrust laws, according to which the EU can 10% of the global turnover of Gazprom was fined. At that time, the amount of fines estimated by the public was up to more than 10 billion euros.
After the EU announced the settlement agreement on the 24th, the person in charge of the Russian gas expressed "satisfaction". On the contrary, the Lithuanian government expressed "regret" that the EU had not issued a huge fine; the Vesgue, member of the European Commission responsible for competition, said that the case was not aimed at The giants like Gazprom are trying to win the best interests for EU consumers and businesses.
Observers said that at present, the anti-Russian sentiment is filled within the EU, and the reconciliation of the Russian gas with the EU can be described as a "victory." In contrast, in June of last year and January of this year, the European Union cited the anti-monopoly law and imposed fines of 2.4 billion euros and nearly 1 billion euros on Google and Qualcomm.
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