Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Greek gas transmission system operator DESFA by SOCAR

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Series Details IP/14/1442 (05.11.14)
Publication Date 05/11/2014
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The European Commission opened on 5 November 2014 an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed acquisition of the Greek gas transmission system operator DESFA by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), is in line with the EU Merger Regulation. SOCAR's activities include the production of natural gas and the upstream wholesale sale of gas in Greece in the context of the Southern Gas Corridor.

The Commission had concerns that the transaction might reduce competition on the upstream wholesale supply market for natural gas in Greece because it could allow the merged entity to hinder SOCAR's competitors in accessing the Greek gas transmission network. The Commission aimed to ensure that the sale of DESFA, part of the Greek government privatisation programme with a view to modernise and liberalise the energy markets, did not result in competitive harm and ultimately higher gas prices for consumers in Greece.

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Related Links
Deutsche Welle, 05.11.14: EU probes Azeri purchase of Greek gas firm
EurActiv, 11.03.15: Aliyev: Azerbaijan concerned by Commission’s DESFA investigation
EurActiv, 20.07.16: Azerbaijan’s SOCAR warns Greece against foul play over DESFA deal

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