The Polish antitrust regulator UOKIK, which previously fined French Engie Energy as part of an investigation into Nord Stream 2 for refusing to cooperate with tens of millions of euros, turned to Gazprom for information.
“On January 15, 2020 Gazprom received a notification from the Polish Competition Committee requesting information and documents for an investigation,” the Gazprom memorandum on the new issue of Eurobonds said.
The Polish Antitrust Authority in 2018 initiated an antitrust investigation regarding the alleged concentration of Gazprom PJSC and European lender partners during the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project (based on the creation of a joint venture without obtaining the prior consent of the UOKIK President). In the same year, Gazprom sent an objection to UOKIK on its position and petitioned for the termination of the antitrust investigation procedure. The Polish antimonopoly authority holds the position that the financial agreements for the project concluded in April 2018 pursue the same goal as the creation of a joint venture and, accordingly, require the consent of UOKIK.
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Earlier, UOKIK issued a “Statement of Objection” to an application for the formation of the Nord Stream 2 consortium in view of the fact that the deal could limit competition and further strengthen the negotiating position of PJSC Gazprom with respect to customers in the country. As a result, due to the position of Poland, foreign partners and Gazprom were unable to create an operator company for the construction of Nord Stream 2, as in the case of the construction of Nord Stream 1. As a result, the pipeline is built by a 100% subsidiary of Gazprom Nord Stream 2 AG, and European partners finance the project as lenders.
In November 2019, UOKIK fined French Engie Energy for “stubbornly and without reason” to provide information for the investigation. Fines of the Polish regulator in relation to other project participants were not reported. For example, the German Wintershall Dea commented on what is in dialogue with the Polish regulator.