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Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments by Transgaz to facilitate natural gas exports from Romania

The European Commission has made commitments offered by Transgaz legally binding under EU antitrust rules. The company will make available to the market significant firm capacities for natural gas exports from Romania to neighbouring Member States, in particular Hungary and Bulgaria.

The Commission announced a formal investigation in June 2017 to assess whether Transgaz infringed EU antitrust rules by restricting exports of natural gas from Romania. These restrictions may have maintained or created barriers to the cross-border flow of natural gas from Romania to Hungary and Bulgaria, contrary to the objective of an integrated Energy Union where energy flows freely across borders directed by competitive forces and based on the best possible use of resources.

Following the opening of the formal investigation, Transgaz offered commitments to address the Commission's concerns. The final commitments will ensure that market participants can access significant volumes of export capacities via the interconnection points between Romania and neighbouring Member States.

The Commission has concluded that the amended commitments address the identified competition concerns and therefore has made them legally binding on Transgaz. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Transgaz has committed to make available capacities at interconnection points for increased natural gas exports from Romania to Hungary and Bulgaria. This will promote the free flow of gas at competitive prices in South Eastern Europe and is a further step towards a single European energy market. Consumers across the region will benefit from greater security of supply of a key transition fuel towards the ultimate objective of an emissions free energy mix, in line with the European Green Deal.”