European Commission antitrust officials have raided Gazprom’s offices in Germany today as part of an ongoing probe into gas prices, Bloomberg reported.
According to the report, which could not be independently verified, inspections were carried out at two of Gazprom’s German subsidiaries: Gazprom Germania GmbH and Wingas GmbH.
Brussels began collecting evidence in October to see whether Gazprom and other gas suppliers were manipulating the market during the ongoing energy price emergency.
In January, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she was still waiting for information from Gazprom.
“It is indeed thought-provoking that a company, in view of increasing demand, limits supply,” Vestager told reporters. “That is quite rare behavior in the marketplace,” she said.
A raid could be a sign that Vestager will open an official investigation into Gazprom.
On Wednesday afternoon, there were no visible signs of a raid at Gazprom Germania’s offices on Markgrafenstraße in Berlin, with staff in the lobby denying any such visit from authorities.
Spokespeople for the European Commission and Gazprom Export declined to comment on any inspections.
In 2011, Gazprom’s Berlin offices were raided by EU competition authorities as part of a multi-country operation spanning 20 sites across 10 countries.
That probe resulted in a 2018 settlement in which Gazprom paid no fine but accepted to amend its contract practices in Central and Eastern Europe — an agreement upheld by EU courts last month.