The European Commission (EC) said that its proceedings will focus on a possible agreement or concerted practice between E.ON and Gaz de France (GDF), whereby they agreed not to sell gas in each other’s home market, even after the liberalization of the European gas markets.

The commission said that the companies’ collusion may concern, in particular, supplies of natural gas transported over the MEGAL pipeline, which is jointly owned by E.ON and GDF and transports gas across southern Germany between the German-Czech and German-Austrian borders on the one side, and the French-German border on the other side.

The EC said that its case arises from information obtained during an inspection carried out on E.ON and GDF premises in Germany and France in 2006.

The commission will now conduct an in-depth investigation of the case as a matter of priority, but has not set a deadline for completion of the probe.