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Lithuanian court upholds $38-MM antitrust fine on Gazprom

VILNIUS (Reuters) -- Lithuania's supreme administrative court said on Thursday it had upheld a $38 million antitrust fine on Russian gas giant Gazprom for restricting competition in the Baltic state.

The country's competition authority slapped the fine on Gazprom in June 2014 for refusing to negotiate a virtual gas swap deal with Lithuania's state-owned energy group Lietuvos Energija, which had sought to buy cheaper gas in Western Europe.

Gazprom was not immediately available to comment.

The Russian supplier lost gas supply monopoly in Lithuania at the end of 2014 after Lithuania started importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Norway, which became the main supplier in 2016.

Gazprom, which used its right to postpone payment of the fine in 2014, will have to pay the fine plus 4.8 million euros interest within three months of the court's announcement, Lithuania's Competition Council spokeswoman told Reuters.

Reporting by Andrius Sytas; Additional reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow

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Editorial Comment
-Lee Nichols
Modern society would not be possible without the use of pipelines to transport natural gas, crude oil and finished products to demand centers.

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