Following objections raised by the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) the parties that wished to create a joint venture to build and run the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline have withdrawn their application to create the JV.
A JV of Gazprom, Uniper, ENGIE, OMV, Shell and Wintershell was set to design, finance, construct and operate the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, running from the Russian Baltic coast to an exit point near Greifswald in Germany.
However, in connection with proceedings that started in December 2015, the Polish anti-trust agency conducted a study following complaints from firms in the Polish natural gas market. The proceedings were commenced to review whether the intended concentration could lead to a restriction of competition. It was considered that Nord Stream 2 could e.g. threaten the pricing power of Poland’s new LNG terminal in Świnoujście. After seven months of research, and in view of the Energy Regulator’s opinion, the agency’s concerns were confirmed. In the UOKiK’s opinion, Gazprom has a dominant position on the gas market in Poland and the transaction could further strengthen the company’s negotiating position with respect to users in Poland.
As the JV could not be formed by the six companies, Gazprom’s partners were forced to withdraw their application. The President of the UOKiK will now discontinue the proceedings.