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The Wasp
Mr Raccoon

The EU launches an anti-trust investigation into gazprom – how long before the gas supply suffers a little mishap this winter?

It is never wise to poke a wasps nest with a stick and expect a happy outcome – firstly from ZeroHedge :

  • EU OPENS ANTITRUST CASE AGAINST GAZPROM
  • GAZPROM SUSPECTED BY EU OF HINDERING COMPETITION IN GAS MARKETS
  • GAZPROM MAY BE ABUSING DOMINANCE IN UPSTREAM GAS SUPPLY MARKETS
  • GAZPROM MAY HAVE PREVENTED GAS SUPPLY DIVERSIFICATION, EU SAYS
  • GAZPROM MAY HAVE UNFAIRLY LINKED PRICE OF GAS TO OIL PRICES

Did Gazprom do any/all of this? Of course: monopolists can do anything they want. Keyword being monopolists. As a result those whose markets Gazprom supplied with all critical natural gas, which in Europe is everyone, must take it like it, or else. Because when it comes to threats, whereas Mario Draghi’s are absolutely hollow, and are merely perfected in the Goldman Sachs school of “what to do when you are not being taken seriously” (as practiced by that other Goldmanite Hank Paulson in the US 4 years ago), those from Gazprom, should the company decided to retaliate will mean the European winter will be not only depressionary, but very, very cold. And Europe may have just made sure of not only the former, but also the latter.

From that other monpoly, this time of infinite central planning complexity and endless bureacuracy – the EU

Antitrust: Commission opens proceedings against Gazprom

The European Commission has opened formal proceedings to investigate whether Gazprom, the Russian producer and supplier of natural gas, might be hindering competition in Central and Eastern European gas markets, in breach of EU antitrust rules. An opening of proceedings does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation; it only means that the Commission will treat the case as a matter of priority.

The Commission has concerns that Gazprom may be abusing its dominant market position in upstream gas supply markets in Central and Eastern European Member States, in breach of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The bureaucrats are obviously bored with the never ending debt crisis and have decided to have a nibble at those who keep people from freezing in the winter.

What will Gazprom do?

Well, this youtube video showing the Academic Ensemble of Moscow Military District in a Russian TV broadcast from January 2009 (when Ukraine had it’s own little gas supply issues) gives a clue as to one possible outcome :
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Better gather some more firewood to be on the safe side I think.

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