The European Commission has announced that it has decided to accept from German energy company RWE binding commitments under Article 9(1) of Regulation 1/2003. These commitments address the Commission’s concerns that RWE may have abused its dominant position under Article 82 of the EC Treaty in the gas transport market. RWE had allegedly refused to supply gas transmission services to third parties and imposed a “margin squeeze” on its downstream competitors. In reaction to the Commission’s concerns, RWE agreed to divest its current Western German gas transmission system business, including personnel and ancillary assets and services, to an independent operator. By making these commitments binding, the Commission has brought an end to its investigation.
This is the second time that the Commission has accepted structural divestment remedies under the Article 9 commitments procedure to close an Article 82 investigation. In December 2008, the Commission made binding commitments by E.ON to divest both 5,000 MW of general capacity from different types of technologies and fuels and its transmission system business consisting of an Extra-High-Voltage line network and system operations currently run by E.ON Netz.