Bulgaria fines Lukoil 100 million euros for blocking import of fuel to the country
Bulgaria's Commission on Protection of Competition has fined the Russian group Lukoil 100 million euros for restricting the access of other companies to its warehouses and pipelines, which limits the import of fuel into the country, Euractiv writes.
The anti-trust authority of Bulgaria issued a decision on the fine after inspections of the actions of the companies of the Russian group — Lukoil Neftohim Burgas and Lukoil Bulgaria.
The commission found that the group violated the law by restricting imports by sea by denying importers and fuel producers access to its tax warehouses connected to the Rosenets oil terminal and the Petrol-Varna gasoline terminal.
Also, the Group did not provide access to its pipelines for the transportation of fuel to other producers and importers.
The Lukoil Group owns the most developed storage and related transport infrastructure in Bulgaria and has a dominant position in the automotive fuel storage market.
The authority also established that the Group uses a strategy that, with long-term and consistent application, makes fuel imports economically unprofitable.
The CPC stated that Lukoil is abusing its dominant position both in accordance with the national legislation and the legislation of the European Union, since the restriction of imports to Bulgaria may significantly affect the structure of trade between EU member states.
This is not the first fine for Lukoil in Bulgaria. In February, the antimonopoly authorities fined the largest fuel trader in the country — Lukoil Bulgaria — for price pressure on its competitors for $36.8 million.
Since the spring of 2022, Bulgaria has become a key exporter of diesel to Ukraine, which is produced at the Lukoil plant.