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EU's anti-competition cases in energy sector

European Commission investigations into anti-competitive business practices in the EU energy markets: implications for energy companies

26 November 2012, 1 - 5 PM CET

TUSIAD Avenue des Gaulois, 13, Brussels 1040

How should the European Commission's recent decision to investigate the alleged breach of EU antitrust rules by Gazprom be interpreted? Some suggest that this is strictly a legal procedure where the dealings of an overly powerful market actor, suspected of violating EU law by imposing unfair prices, need to be examined. Others suggest that the case is politically driven through hard lobbying by some EU member states, who want Gazprom to reduce its price for gas deliveries to their consumers.

These investigations, however, mask an even larger issue. Following its recent takeover of TNK-BP, Russia's national oil champion, Rosneft, is now starting to flex its muscles in the country's domestic gas market. In addition, given the already established presence of Russian "gas independents" such as Novatek and the "arrival" of Rosneft, can all of this inject grealiberalizationtion into the EU-Russia gas trade?

During an interactive discussion held by the Brussels Energy Club on November 26, Andrei Belyi explained how these inter-related dynamics will impact the current supplier-consumer relationship in the European gas markets. In light of the above, Dr. Belyi further assessed prospects for greater convergence between the Russian and European business models in the energy sector and responded to questions about how these possible transformations will affect the European energy companies themselves.


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Dr. Andrei V Belyi Associate Professor and coordinator of the Jean Monnet Chair on Energy and Environment, Centre for EU-Russia Studies, University of Tartu (Estonia); and Visiting Honorary Lecturer at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum, Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee (UK)




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