Gazprom Settlement Said to Be Announced Within Weeks by EU

(Bloomberg) -- The European Union may announce a settlement with Gazprom PJSC as soon as this month that would see the gas giant enter binding pledges to put an end to a seven-year-old antitrust investigation, according to people familiar with the matter.

EU antitrust officials consulted experts from member states in Brussels on Friday to seek feedback on proposals made by Gazprom, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named as the meeting was confidential.

The proposed deal covers issues that come up when clients wish to change the place of delivery for gas and concerns over the flexibility with which prices are reviewed, said a second person.

Friday’s meeting is one of the final boxes the European Commission has to tick before making the announcement, said the people. The move suggests the settlement with Gazprom could be announced as soon as the week starting May 14 as EU Commissioners, who have to sign off on the accord, don’t meet before then, said the second person.

The settlement would come as Russia faces U.K. accusations it poisoned a double agent that sparked the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history across the globe. The accord would bring to an end the EU’s antitrust probe.

Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso declined to comment as did Gazprom.

In April 2015, the commission said in a charge sheet known as a statement of objections that Gazprom might have imposed unfair pricing and marketing policies in some central and eastern European states. Months later, the Moscow-based exporter sought to settle the case while refusing to admit any wrongdoing.

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