Background of the Gazprom Antitrust Case: Internal and external energy policies, and antitrust law enforcement in the EU

Author Name TAKEDA Kuninobu  (Osaka University)
Creation Date/NO. November 2015 15-J-058
Research Project Comprehensive Research on the Current International Trade/Investment System (pt.II)
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The European Commission sent a Statement of Objections to Russian state-owned enterprise (SOE) Gazprom, alleging that its business practices breached European Union (EU) antitrust rules. This paper analyzes the case from the viewpoints of EU internal and external energy policies. The Commission has been using competition law as a tool for internal and external energy policies. Until the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the Commission had been applying competition law in order to materialize an internal energy policy. Since the Lisbon Treaty, it has been using competition law for both external and internal energy policies. The Gazprom case, in which Lithuania pressed the Commission to enforce competition law under the name of "solidarity," is the latter case. But using competition law in such an instrumental way can cause a negative side effect such as disincentive for investment in pipelines, and it can also bring about a fierce conflict between concerned nations as seen in a Russian blocking statute.