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Polish competition watchdog UOKiK fines Gazprom $7.6 billion over Nord Stream 2

Polish competition watchdog UOKiK fines Gazprom $7.6 billion over Nord Stream 2

Warsaw, October 8- Neftegaz.RU. Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK, has imposed a penalty on Gazprom and on 5 remaining companies participating in the construction of the gas pipeline - as a result of the lack of approval for the Nord Stream 2 transaction. 

UOKiK imposed $7.6 billion (€6.5 billion) penalties equalling 10 % of the firms' annual turnover, the highest possible fine under Polish competition law. Charges were brought against 6 economic operators of the project: Gazprom, French engine, German juniper, Austrian OMV, Dutch-British Shell and German Wintershall.

Pursuant to the Poland’s antitrust watchdog, the entities concerned are obliged to terminate the agreements for financing Nord Stream 2. The unprecedented decision and the imposition of the maximum penalty are the outcome of the proceedings UOKiK has concluded with regard to a company that is responsible for constructing and operating Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline without the required consent of the President of UOKiK. 

“The activities of the 6 companies negatively impacted competition on the gas market in Poland", explains Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK, "The launch of NS2 will threaten the continuity of gas supplies to Poland. An increase in the price of the product is also highly likely, with the said increase being borne by Polish consumers. Completion of this investment project increases the economic dependence on the Russian gas - not only in the case of Poland, but also of other European states”.

UOKiK gave the companies 30 days to terminate agreements they have concluded in order to finance Nord Stream 2.

Gazprom said it has not violated Polish anti-monopoly regulations, the company has already officially stated its fundamental disagreement with the position of the Polish regulator, Gazprom intends to appeal UOKiK's decision on the fine.

In a statement, Gazprom said the fine “violates the principles of legality, proportionality and the right to a fair hearing. The unprecedented size of the fine indicates a desire to oppose the implementation of Nord Stream 2 by any means.”

To read the article in Russian.