Statement by Jonathan Todd, spokesperson of Neelie Kroes, on the EC opening the Belgian gas market to competition
End production: 11/10/2007 First transmission: 11/10/2007
Commitments offered by Distrigas to open the Belgian gas market have been made legally binding by a formal decision adopted by the European Commission. The commitments address concerns raised by the Commission in the course of an investigation under EC Treaty rules prohibiting the abuse of a dominant market position. The Commission had concerns about supply problems on the Belgian gas market through long-term contracts concluded by Distrigas with gas customers. Under the commitments, Distrigas would reduce the gas volumes tied in long-term contracts. This would allow other gas suppliers to compete with Distrigas to build up a portfolio of customers, and thereby encourage competition on the Belgian gas market. In the light of the commitments offered by Distrigas, the Commission has closed its investigation.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the press room
||Jonathan Todd, spokesperson of Neelie Kroes, Member of the EC in charge of Competition, (in ENGLISH) saying that
the effect of this will be to allow other potential gas suppliers to compete with Distrigas and to build up a portfolio of customers and encourage competition on the Belgian gas market
||Jonathan Todd (in ENGLISH) saying that when it comes to other large gas customers, such as industrial consumers and generators, the maximum duration will be five years, except in the case of new gas fired power plants;
furthermore, Distrigas has given a commitment to ensure that, on average, 70% of the sales per annum would be subject to contracts that will come back to the market, and so could be open for other potential suppliers
||Jonathan Todd (in ENGLISH) saying that this decision is of interest because it gives guidance to the gas and electricity sectors and to theirs customers as to what the Commission would expect in the way of their behaviour with long term supply contracts; in other words, if they were to behave in a way similar to Distrigas with these commitments, then they would normally not be subject to an anti-trust case by the Commission
||Cutaway (3 shots)