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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Nord Stream 2 - penalty imposed by UOKiK

< previous | next > 08.11.2019

Nord Stream 2 - penalty imposed by UOKiK
  • The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection imposes a fine in proceedings against Gazprom and five international entities responsible for financing Nord Stream 2.
  • 172 million PLN - this is how much Engie Energy will pay for not providing information.
  • This is the result of a lack of cooperation in the proceedings conducted by the president of the Polish antitrust office - Marek Niechciał.

The construction of Nord Stream 2 was analysed by UOKiK in August 2016. At that time, the president of the office decided that the planned concentration between Gazprom and five international companies  could lead to a restriction of competition and made reservations, which in practice could mean no merger. However, the consortium participants withdrew their application.

Since April 2018, the office has been analysing the case again, conducting precedent-setting antitrust proceedings. The President of UOKiK brought allegations against six companies suspected of finalizing the transaction despite the lack of consent from the Polish antitrust office. These are entrepreneurs belonging to international groups: Gazprom from the Russian Federation, Engie, as well as four companies from the Netherlands:  Uniper, OMV, Shell and Wintershall.

According to the office, the actions of consortium members may be an attempt to circumvent the regulations by establishing a company financing the construction of the gas pipeline without the consent of the antitrust authority. Both the withdrawn application regarding the creation of the joint venture and the conclusion of subsequent contracts had the same purpose: to finance the construction of Nord Stream 2. Today's decision concerns one of the six companies –Engie Energy.

- We asked the company for documents and data regarding contracts concluded with Gazprom. We are interested in information about gaseous fuels, in particular transmission, distribution, sales, supply or storage contracts. These data are necessary in the ongoing antitrust proceedings, in which we check whether Engie company and 5 other entities formed a joint undertaking without our consent - explain Marek Niechciał President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.

- The company persistently and unreasonably refused to provide us with the requested documents and materials. This caused a significant delay in conducting our activities related to financing the construction of the NS2 gas pipeline - explains Michał Holeksa, vice president of UOKiK.

For failing to provide information during the proceedings, the office may impose a fine of up to EUR 50 million on the entrepreneur. By exercising this right, the President of UOKiK punished PLN 172 mln.

- We are conducting a very important antitrust proceeding concerning the Nord Stream 2 case, the effects of which may have an international character. When setting the amount of the penalty imposed on Engie Energy, we took into account the importance of this information for the ongoing proceedings, as well as the intentional conduct of the company. Today's decision with punishment is just one of the stages of this project - adds Marek Niechciał President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.

As part of antitrust proceedings the office is currently analysing documents collected from other entities. Despite various difficulties, including such as the example of the Swiss company described today, UOKiK has already gathered extensive evidence (including contracts related to the financing of NS2).

For concentration without obtaining the consent of the President of UOKiK, a penalty of up to 10% of turnover may be imposed. In addition, if it was carried out and the restoration of competition on the market is not possible, the president of the office may order, e.g. the sale of all or part of the entrepreneur's assets, shares, stocks which guarantee control over the business entity, as well as the dissolution of the company over which the entrepreneurs exercise joint control.

Cообщение для СМИ - pусский язык 

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

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