Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius believes that European Commission`s decision to open Gazprom antitrust probe is a very important event that might have a significant impact on further developments in the European markets as well as Gazprom‘s behaviour in central Europe, the Priem Minister’s press office reported on 5 September.
“Lithuania happened to be one of the states that last year turned to the European Commission‘s DG for Competition over a breach of the principles of fair and free competition in Gazprom‘s gas pricing policy applied to Lithuania. (…) The current investigation is extremely relevant and important”, – said the Prime Minister on Wednesday.
The Head of the Government also referred to other significant investigations carried out by the European Commission‘s DG for Competition, which ended up in substantial fines for companies, such as Microsoft.
“That was the way to achieve the compliance with the free competition principles applicable across the European Union”, – said the Prime Minister, adding that the European Commission‘s decision to launch Gazprom investigation can have a beneficial outcome for gas consumers in Lithuania.
“One would expect a clever reaction from Gazprom – not to wait for the final decision in the case with possible fines, but change its pricing policy, adjusting it to the EU requirements for fair competition. In this case I would expect that our consumers would have a possibility to buy gas for much more competitive prices”, – said the Prime Minister.
On Tuesday, the European Commission reported that it had launched an official Gazprom antitrust investigation regarding three allegedly anti-competitive practices in Central and Eastern Europe. It expressed its concern about a possible abuse of Gazprom‘s dominant market position by restricting the free flow of gas across member states, preventing diversification of supply, and pricing gas unfairly by linking gas prices to oil prices.