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EU: EC fines Bulgarian gas company €77M

 |  December 17, 2018

The European Commission announced on December 17 that it has fined Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) €77.1 million (US$87.6 million) for blocking competitors’ access to key gas infrastructure in Bulgaria, in breach of EU antitrust rules.

The European Commission, which raided the company in 2011 in a move that led to the opening of an investigation in 2013, claimed BEH had abused its dominance to hinder competitors.

Specifically, between 2010 and 2015, BEH blocked access to Bulgaria’s gas transmission network, the country’s only gas storage facility, and the only import pipeline bringing gas into Bulgaria—which was fully booked by BEH.

Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova criticized the Commission for demanding that Bulgaria should privatize BEH’s gas network operator Bulgartransgaz in order to reach an agreement and avoid a fine.

“This is strategic infrastructure for the country, directly linked with the national security. We cannot allow compromises with our national security,” Petkova told reporters.

Full Content: Reuters

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