Polish Antimonopoly Office Says Nord Stream 2 Threatens Competition

Reuters

WARSAW, July 22 (Reuters) – Poland's antimonopoly watchdog said on Friday that launching a joint venture by Russia's Gazprom and five European companies responsible for the construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline would undermine competition.

The office received a filing for clearance of a concentration among Gazprom and its European partners, which include E.ON, Wintershall, Shell, OMV and Engie, in December 2015.

"The Office found that the concentration might lead to restriction of competition," the statement reads.

"At the moment Gazprom has a dominant position with respect to transmission of gas to Poland, and the planned transaction could further strengthen the company's negotiating position with regard to users in Poland," it also said.

The office added that its objections do not determine the decision that would be eventually issued in the case.

Gazprom and its European partners agreed the Nord Stream 2 project, which would pump gas from Russia to Germany, last year.

Central and east European countries and the United States have said the pipeline could limit supply routes and reduce the energy security of the EU, which gets a third of its gas from Russia.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko)

Copyright 2016 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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