On 29 March 2022, the European Commission carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of several companies in Germany active in the supply, transmission and storage of natural gas.
The Commission has concerns that the inspected companies may have violated EU competition rules that prohibit abuse of a dominant position.
The Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the German national competition authority.
Unannounced inspections are a preliminary investigatory step into suspected anticompetitive practices. The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself.
The Commission fully respects the rights of defence in its antitrust proceedings, in particular the right of companies to be heard.
The inspections have been conducted in compliance with all coronavirus health and safety protocols to ensure the security of those involved.