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Parliamentary questions
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20 May 2019
E-001248/2019(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Vestager on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001248/2019

By decision of 17 December 2018, the Commission fined Bulgarian Energy Holding, its gas supply subsidiary, Bulgargaz, and its gas infrastructure subsidiary, Bulgartransgaz, (together BEH) for blocking competitors’ access to key gas infrastructure in Bulgaria in breach of the European Union antitrust rules.

Like any other natural or legal person who is the addressee of a Commission decision in competition matters, BEH can seek a judicial review of the decision before the General Court under Article 263 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Starting proceedings before the General Court has no suspensory effect. Therefore, the Commission decision will produce its deterrent effect by obliging BEH to immediately bring the infringement to an end, insofar as it has not already effectively done so, and to refrain from repeating any act or conduct described in the decision.

In accordance with Article 261 TFEU and Article 31 of Regulation 1/2003, in the judicial review of the Commission decision, the General Court has unlimited jurisdiction with regard to the fine. The General Court can assess the appropriateness of the amount of the fine and may therefore cancel, reduce or increase the fine imposed.

The General Court has not yet published information indicating whether the appeal lodged by BEH against the Commission concerns the decision of 17 December 2018 or the grounds for the appeal. Therefore, at this stage, the Commission cannot provide more information.

Last updated: 20 May 2019Legal notice