Bulgarian Energy Accused by EU of Imposing Power-Resale Curb

Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD was accused by the European Union’s antitrust arm of imposing restrictions on where its power may be resold by energy traders.

Bulgarian Energy Holding was sent an antitrust complaint by the EU alleging it abused its dominant market power. The so-called statement of objections says “a majority” of its power-supply contracts force traders to resell the electricity either only within Bulgaria or only outside of the country.

“The contracts also contain control and sanctioning mechanisms” to allow Bulgarian Energy Holding “to monitor and punish customers who fail to comply with these territorial restrictions,” the European Commission, the EU regulator in Brussels, said today in an e-mailed statement.

Bulgarian Energy Holding is also being investigated by EU regulators over possible restrictions to key gas infrastructures in the country. The commission is separately probing OAO Gazprom (OGZD), Russia’s natural-gas monopoly, over terms in its long-term gas-supply contracts with EU countries.

“The Bulgarian Energy Holding will analyze the statement of objection and will respond to the commission in the second half of 2014,” the company said in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg News questions.

The antitrust procedure began in November 2012 and concerns power-supply agreements of the company’s units, which are no longer applied, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gaspard Sebag in Brussels at gsebag@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net Jones Hayden

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