The European Commission has confirmed that it has sent a Statement of Objections under EU antitrust rules to the Italian ENI group. The Statement of Objections sets out the Commission's preliminary view that the management and operation of natural gas transmission pipelines by ENI may be in breach of EC Treaty rules on abuse of a dominant market position (Article 82). Their behaviour concerns an alleged refusal to grant access to capacity available on the transport network (capacity hoarding), the granting of access in an allegedly less useful manner (capacity degradation) and an alleged strategic limitation of investment (strategic underinvestment) in ENI's international transmission pipeline system. These practices allegedly took place despite very significant short- and long-term demand from third party shippers. The Statement of Objections indicates that these practices may have weakened competitors on the market, and harmed customers in Italy.