The Competition Council (CC) sanctioned the natural gas distributor Distrigaz Sud Networks (DGSR) with a fine of about 17.65 million lei (3.7 million euros), for abuse of a dominant position in the areas for which it has a license of distribution, shows a statement received by energynomics.ro.
The monopoly position of the DGSR on the natural gas distribution market, in the areas for which it had a distribution license (Bucharest and localities from 19 counties), offered the company, according to the legislation, the exclusive right to approve the technical projects, to receive the execution works and commissioning natural gas use (IUGN) facilities. Also, the distributor set and collected tariffs for these services, CC officials say.
Distrigaz representatives said they would pay the fine, but the technical approval and technical reception services are performed by any operator approved by ANRE, yet since 2012.
“However, we specify that, starting with October 2012, the provision of the technical approval and technical reception services is no longer performed by the distribution operator, but is performed by any economic operator approved by ANRE, thus facilitating the creation of competitive conditions in the market. This liberalization was also achieved as a result of the steps initiated by Distrigaz Sud Networks,” company officials said, according to Agerpres.
In the CC investigation initiated in 2017, the competition authority found that, during 2011-2012, Distrigaz Sud Retele SRL (DGSR) established and practiced excessive, economically unjustified tariffs, for the technical approval of the IUGN execution projects and for the reception of the works and for their commissioning during 2013-2019. As a result, for the technical approval and the reception of the utilization facilities and their commissioning, DGSR has charged far higher rates than the market average.