Russian gas company Gazprom faces being charged with antitrust practices, the head of the European Union's (EU) antitrust regulator said on Thursday.
Speaking at a conference in Lithuania, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said the regulator was preparing a charge sheet against the company. If found to have broken antitrust rules, Gazprom could be fined up to $15 billion.
"It would be premature to anticipate when the next steps would be taken in this investigation, but we have now moved to the phase of preparing a statement of objections," Reuters reported Almunia telling a conference in Vilnius organised by the Lithuanian Competition Authority.
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Gazprom is one of the world's largest players in the natural gas industry, with Europe making up a large part of its revenue with "more than 20 countries of Central and Western Europe account for more than 65 percent of the total gas exports by Gazprom," the company states.