[JURIST] The European Commission [official website] on Wednesday issued [press release] a Statement of Objection to Gazprom [corporate website] accusing the Russian gas giant of abusing its position [EU factsheet] as the dominant source of gas in Central and Eastern European in breach of EU anti-trust rules. According to the Commission, “Gazprom is the dominant gas supplier in a number of Central and Eastern European countries. It has a market share well above 50% and in some cases up to 100% in these markets.” Based on preliminary investigation, the European Commission believes Gazprom is breaking EU antitrust rules by implemeting a strategy to “partition Central and Eastern European” with the goal of perpetuating unfair pricing policies in EU member states. Article 102 [text] of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) prohibits the abuse of a dominant market position, which may affect trade between Member States. Gazprom has 12 weeks to reply to the Statement of Objections.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, has been at the forefront of combating unfair business practices. Last week the European Commission initiated [JURIST report] antitrust proceedings against Google [corporate website] accusing the company of utilizing their dominant position in the search engine market to hurt competitors. In March the European Commission released [JURIST report] a package of proposed legislation aimed at combating tax deals between individual EU member states and multinational companies. In October the European Commission filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against Sweden for failing to change its laws on online betting and poker games that breach EU law on the free movement of services.