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Parliamentary questions
4 July 2018
P-002663/2018
Answer given by Ms Vestager on behalf of the Commission

On 24 May 2018, the Commission declared the commitments offered by Gazprom binding. The binding commitments address the Commission's antitrust concerns and enable the free flow of gas at competitive prices in central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

The commitments remove the antitrust concerns as communicated to Gazprom, in the form of a Statement of Objections (SO), in April 2015. The concern was that Gazprom may have abused its dominant position in eight CEE Member States (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia) contrary to Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The Nord Stream 2 project was outside the scope of the Commission's investigation.

The SO sets out the Commission's preliminary findings at that point in time of the Commission's investigation. It did not therefore present the Commission's final assessment.

The choice between accepting commitments and imposing a fine is an important balancing exercise. In this particular case, the choice between the two depended on how effectively the Commission could meet its objective of ensuring the free flow of gas at competitive prices in CEE.

In general, commitments offer a forward-looking solution to the Commission's concerns. In this specific case, the commitment decision remedies the competition problems immediately and for the future.

Gazprom, like any other undertaking operating within the EU, must ensure that all its business practices are in full compliance with EU rules. This also applies to its infrastructure projects such as Nord Stream 2.

Last updated: 5 July 2018Legal notice