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BRUSSELS, December 16. /TASS/. The European Commission (EC) is not setting any time limits for finalizing the investigation against Gazprom, a representative of the EC said on Wednesday subsequent to the results of closed hearings of Gazprom case in Brussels late on Tuesday.
"The European Commission is not setting any time limits for finalizing the antimonopoly investigation against Gazprom," the representative said.
Meanwhile, another source confirmed to TASS that Gazprom and the EC "are exploring the possibilities of settling the case out of court," which imply settlement of existing claims with no fines.
At the hearing Gazprom expressed disagreement with the EC conclusions on breaching the European competition regulations by the company, Gazprom Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee Alexander Medvedev said earlier.
The company’s delegation headed by Medvedev presented at the hearing facts and analytical findings on items of the notice of claims put in by the European Commission during the investigation. Gazprom requested oral hearings in order to demonstrate why the company considers the EC accusations unjustified and based on substantial methodological errors.
"We disagree with the findings of the European Commission, particularly regarding Gazprom’s "extremely high prices" for gas. The facts and the data we’ve presented vividly demonstrate why we consider the position of the Commission economically unjustifiable and legally flawed," Medvedev said.
Also, Gazprom assumes the European Commission is not paying sufficient attention to the international public law norms while investigating, particularly regarding "market segmentation" and accusations of "limiting competition." "In fact, the majority of our commercial contracts in engaged countries were signed within intergovernmental agreements, which should be taken into account. We’re still committed to an open dialog with the European Commission for searching a mutually acceptable solution," Medvedev said.