An arrangement between the Hungarian Government and the Hungarian oil and gas company MOL, which exempts MOL from a recent increase in mining fees on revenues from exploitation of hydrocarbons, is currently the subject of an in depth investigation by the European Commission (Commission). The issue arose following a complaint to the Commission in late 2007, that the agreement under which MOL pays a fixed fee until 2020, amounts to State aid in so far as MOL gains an unfair competitive advantage compared to the level of fees paid by its competitors. Following a preliminary investigation, the Commission concluded that the exemption did not appear to be compatible with the EU’s State aid rules and on 13 January 2009, it opened an investigation to examine the issue in more depth. Interested parties have been invited to submit comments before the Commission takes a final decision.
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