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A Greenpeace activist stands on top of the roof of a Gazprom gas station near the city of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.
A Greenpeace activist stands on top of the roof of a Gazprom gas station near the city of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.
(STOYAN NENOV/REUTERS)

Under siege, Gazprom’s pricing power begins to crumble

You could almost feel sorry for Gazprom, except that you probably should not. Europe’s competition commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, signalled this week that his officials were working on a “statement of objections,” the first bureaucratic step in prosecuting Gazprom for anti-competitive behaviour. The commission reckons it has evidence that the Russian gas utility has abused its dominant position in the former Soviet satellite states of central and eastern Europe. In the worst case, Gazprom could be fined 10 per cent of its turnover, some €11-billion ($15.4-billion), based on last year’s revenues.