The imposition of a fine on Gazprom is related to the ongoing procedure to establish a consortium to finance the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline without the required consent.
Gazprom has recently published its quarterly report. In addition to financial information, it also mentions a dispute with Poland. The Russian agency RIA Novosti reports that on May 19 Gazprom applied to the Polish court to suspend the examination of the case concerning the imposition of a fine of EUR 50 million (approximately PLN 225 million).
In this way, the Russians want to give themselves time and bring to an end another, more important court case. It is an appeal against the decision of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) regarding the alleged cooperation between Gazprom and foreign investors during the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project.
The imposition of a fine on Gazprom is related to the ongoing procedure to establish a consortium to finance the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline without the required consent of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. Charges were brought against six companies: Gazprom from Russia, Engie Energy from Switzerland and four from the Netherlands: Uniper, OMV, Shell and Wintershall.
Nearly a year ago, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection asked Gazprom for documents relevant to the case, but the company refused to provide information important for the proceedings.
Nord Stream 2 at the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection
The history of the dispute goes back several years. In 2015, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection received an application from six companies for consent to establish a joint undertaking responsible for the construction and operation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
The companies withdrew their application, which in practice meant that the merger was prohibited. Meanwhile, soon thereafter, information appeared in the media that the would-be participants in the transaction had signed a contract for financing the gas pipeline. As a result, proceedings were initiated against Gazprom and its five contractors for a transaction without consent.
A penalty of up to 10% may be imposed for violating the prohibition to implement a concentration without obtaining the consent of the President of UOKiK. the entrepreneur’s annual turnover. Moreover, if the concentration has been carried out and the restoration of competition on the market is not possible, the head of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection may order the sale of all or part of the entrepreneur’s property, shares or stocks ensuring control over the entrepreneur, and the dissolution of the company over which the entrepreneurs exercise joint control.