The Office Imposed Fine Amounting to CZK 10,000,000 on NET4GAS for Abuse of Dominant Position

2021-02-04
The Office for the Protection of Competition imposed a fine amounting to CZK 10,000,000 on NET4GAS, s. r. o., for abuse of dominant position and prohibited alleged conduct for the future. The decision has not yet come into force and the undertaking can file an appeal.

NET4GAS between 24 September 2015 and 30 April 2019 abused its dominant position in the market for the provision of services relating to natural gas transport in the Czech Republic to the detriment of SPP Storage s. r. o. and thus to the possible detriment of undertakings demanding provision of services relating to natural gas storage in the Czech Republic and final consumers as well. At the same time, the undertaking concerned influenced the trade between the EU Member States in the field of provision of services relating to natural gas storage in the Czech Republic.

The Office concluded that NET4GAS infringed competition law by submitting disadvantageous conditions and insisting on compliance with these conditions without objectively justified reasons, which didn’t allow SSP Storage to conclude the agreement on the connection. This behaviour was applied within contractual process with SSP Storage, which commenced on 24 September 2015 concerning conclusion of the agreement on the connection of Dolni Bojanovice underground gas storage to the natural gas transmission system of the Czech Republic operated by NET4GAS.

NET4GAS is the operator of the gas transmission system of the Czech Republic and the holder of the gas transport licence issued by the Energy Regulatory Office, which enables NET4GAS to secure international gas transport across the Czech Republic, national gas transport to partners in the Czech Republic and to provide related business and technical services. Pursuant to the Energy Act, among others, NET4GAS is obliged to secure connection to any party which is interested in it and which meets relevant conditions. The same conduct of NET4GAS was reviewed also by sector regulator – Energy Regulatory Office which assessed the conduct of the party to the proceeding in relation to meeting the conditions set by the national energy legislation.

 

Press Unit of the Office

21/021 – S0241/2019

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