Antitrust regulators in the European Union have charged Gazprom with abusing its position in Eastern European countries.
Earlier this week it was revealed charges could be brought against the Russian energy giant.
Now, after more than two years of investigation, the European Commission said the company had hindered competition across countries including Poland and Hungary.
European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said:”We find that it (Gazprom) may have built artificial barriers preventing gas from flowing from certain Central Eastern European countries to others, hindering cross-border competition.
“Keeping national gas markets separate also allowed Gazprom to charge prices that we at this stage consider to be unfair.”
Settlement talks with Gazprom, which is owned by the Russian government, froze as tensions escalated about Russia’s actions in Ukraine, where it annexed the Crimea region and was accused of supporting an insurgency that’s threatened to split the country apart.
Russia’s relations with the US and the EU have sunk to post Cold-War lows since the crisis.
Europe imported 27 percent of its natural gas from Russia last year. The 28-nation block imports 53 percent of the energy it consumes at a cost of about 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion) per day, according to the commission.
The EU’s antitrust case against Gazprom hit the headlines in 2011 with raids on Gazprom and its customers.
Regulators opened a formal probe the following year, saying sales contracts that linked natural gas to oil prices may no longer be justified because gas was increasingly being traded on spot markets as a shale gas boom expanded supplies.