The Gaz de France (GDF) and Suez merger, announced in September, will create Europe's largest purchaser, supplier and distributor of natural gas. Supporters say that the new entity will help ease the European Union’s concerns about ensuring the security of its energy supplies and reducing its dependence on Russian gas. But critics claim the deal will create a “national champion” of which the French State will retain control thanks to a 35.6 per cent share. They add that the merger contradicts the European Commission's ambition to further liberalise the EU's energy market by breaking up the concentration of power held by large companies. In contrast with the original agreement announced in February 2006, the new terms allow the French State to retain control of the new entity's strategy. The companies still need to decide whether the structure of the deal has changed sufficiently for it to be re-notified to the European Commission. In the event that a company fails to notify a “new” deal, it could face fines of up to 10 per cent of its global revenue.