EU’s Vestager Questions Gazprom Over Price Hikes

The European Union’s antitrust chief said she had asked gas companies, including Gazprom, about tight supplies after accusations the Russian giant was holding back extra production that could be released to lower soaring prices.

According to Reuters, Margrethe Vestager, who is also the European Commission’s executive vice president, said the company had not ramped up supply to meet demand.

“It is thought provoking that a company in view of increasing demand limits supply. That is quite rare behavior in the marketplace,” she said at a news conference.

She said energy prices were a very high priority for the European Commission. “We have sent out questionnaires to a number of energy suppliers in this field. We have got a lot of responses but we are still waiting for others including Gazprom. We are eagerly awaiting the information from them in order to advance our analysis,” Vestager said.

On Thursday, January 13, a Gazprom official told Interfax news agency that the Russian gas company was in contact with the European Commision and has shared some of the data requested. The official did not elaborate.

Gazprom was put into the spotlight last year when the post-coronavirus economic recovery drove global demand, pushing up prices and power bills and leading to calls that gas companies offer extra volumes.

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.