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EU approves Gazprom's spread in Netherlands, Germany

Staff writer |
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control over WINZ and Wintershall Services of the Netherlands and sole control over Wingas and WIEH of Germany by the Russian energy company Gazprom.

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The commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise any competition concerns.

WINZ and Wintershall Services are active in oil and gas exploration and production in the North Sea, while Wingas and WIEH supply gas, mainly in Germany.

The Commission assessed the potential impact of the transaction on competition in the markets for the sale of gas in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, where Gazprom sells gas to downstream wholesalers and retailers, including Wingas which is both wholesaler and retailer. The Commission found that the acquisition would not allow Gazprom to restrict customers' access to gas supplies, given the presence of sufficient alternative upstream suppliers.

The Commission also assessed the potential effects of the acquisition on competition in the markets for the storage of gas in Germany and Austria. The Commission's investigation showed that most of the overlaps between the parties' activities were largely pre-existent to the transaction and/or involved only a very limited degree of integration.

The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns. EU Competition law, including EU merger control, applies to all companies doing business in the EU.

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