On May 16, the European Commission raided 20 gas companies across five countries following suspicions that the targeted firms restricted “access to pipeline and storage facilities” and engaged in certain “concerted practices between incumbents that can be described as market-sharing,” according to an EC spokesperson. Among the companies raided were Germany’s RWF, France’s Gaz de France, Austria’s OMV, and Belgium’s Fluxys. Companies in Italy were also raided.
These raids are part of the EC’s broader strategy to open the European Union’s energy markets. In a separate incident, the European Commission also raided several electricity companies in Hungary based on suspicions that they were “excluding competitors from the wholesale electricity market by entering into long-term power purchase agreements and import contracts underpinned by a long-term reservation of capacity on interconnectors.”