Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
Nov 20, 2014

Truckmakers face fines as EU steps up cartel investigation

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission has stepped up a wide-ranging cartel investigation that could lead to heavy fines for some of the world’s biggest truckmakers.

The Commission announced on Thursday that it had sent formal charge sheets to several manufacturers it suspected of price fixing, marking the next phase of a complex investigation that began with raids on a number of companies’ headquarters in January 2011.

Nov 20, 2014

EU steps up truck cartel investigation

BRUSSELS, Nov 20 (Reuters) – The European Commission stepped
up a wide-ranging cartel investigation of truck manufacturers on
Thursday, saying it had formally notified unnamed makers of
heavy and medium-duty vehicles they were under suspicion.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager declined to
name any of what she said was a large number of companies being
looked into. MAN of Germany and Scania of Sweden have previously
said they were raided by EU inspectors in 2011. Sweden’s Volvo
said on Thursday it was cooperating with the probe and had
already told shareholders its profits could be hurt by it.

Nov 19, 2014

EU states set for plastic bag curbs after clash with Juncker team

BRUSSELS, Nov 19 (Reuters) – European Union governments are
expected to approve a law on Friday to halve the number of
plastic grocery bags used across the bloc after a process that
has led to an early clash between the new EU executive and
member states.

The European Commission, which proposes legislation,
questioned the outcome of a deal between the bloc’s 28 states
and the European Parliament that added mandatory steps to cut
bag use, strengthening more flexible measures originally drafted
by the Commission.

Nov 18, 2014

Ukraine’s Naftogaz aims to avoid importing gas from Russia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine aims to avoid using an interim gas deal signed last month for as long as it can and eventually end its reliance on Russian gas through better EU connections, Naftogaz Chief Executive Andriy Kobolyev told Reuters on Tuesday.

Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement, brokered by the European Commission, at the end of October to cover gas supplies over the winter months as a temporary solution to a long-standing price dispute between Moscow and Kiev.

Nov 13, 2014

New EU bosses want to scrap some green energy laws -draft

BRUSSELS, Nov 13 (Reuters) – European Union rules on low
energy appliances, such as dishwashers and refrigerators, are
among a welter of green laws the new European Commission is
proposing to review or scrap, according to a document seen by
Reuters.

Eco-design and energy labelling directives sparked a media
furore in Eurosceptic Britain, where newspapers seized on public
indignation that the EU had issued legislation dictating how
powerful vacuum cleaners should be. Vacuum cleaners were not
mentioned in the document.

Nov 13, 2014

EU bag law stirs up Italy-UK row over “good” plastic and bad

BRUSSELS, Nov 13 (Reuters) – A draft EU law to tackle
Europe’s mountain of plastic bags has pitched Italy, Britain and
their rival eco-packaging firms against each other, as efforts
to hammer out the details enter the final stage.

The executive European Commission last year proposed to
limit the number of thin, single-use plastic bags handed out in
shops but stopped short of an outright ban.

Oct 29, 2014

Gas deal still eludes Ukraine and Russia at EU talks

BRUSSELS, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Ukraine and Russia bargained
late into the night on Wednesday but European Union officials
trying to broker a deal to resume gas supplies to Kiev as winter
sets in said there was still no accord to announce.

At talks in Brussels hosted by energy commissioner Guenther
Oettinger two days before he makes way for a new EU executive
team, officials cancelled an evening news conference at which
they had hoped to announce a deal after months of negotiation.

Oct 29, 2014

Ukraine, Russia try again to forge gas deal at Brussels talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine and Russia begin new gas crisis talks on Wednesday, but wrangling over Ukraine’s upfront cash payments threatens to push a deal out of reach, even as temperatures have fallen below zero in Kiev.

Russian state utility Gazprom halted supplies to Kiev in June because of Ukraine’s unpaid gas bill, which Moscow says is around $4.5 billion.

Oct 28, 2014

EU provisionally clears French, Italian budgets after tweaks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission provisionally accepted the budgets of France and Italy, saying on Tuesday that no euro zone states had submitted deficit plans for next year that seriously breached EU rules for fiscal stability.

A day after Paris and Rome amended their 2015 budgets in the hope of avoiding censure from the European Union executive, the economics commissioner said no national budget had been so out of line it was rejected by an initial deadline of Wednesday. Detailed analysis will continue next month, Commissioner Jyrki Katainen added.

Oct 28, 2014

US regulator drops BP, Statoil oil price-fixing probe

LONDON/BRUSSELS, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Oil majors BP and
Statoil said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
was closing a probe into anticompetitive practices in oil price
reporting, while a European official said the EU investigation
was still going on.

European Commission officials in May 2013 raided the offices
of oil majors BP, Shell and Statoil as part of an
investigation of suspected manipulation of oil and biofuel
prices.