David Gilo: Consumers deserve gas and competition

David Gilo
David Gilo

The outgoing antitrust commissioner said at the Israel Institute of Energy that the gas monopoly refused to produce gas if there was competition.

Outgoing Israel Antitrust Authority commissioner David Gilo, who resigned yesterday, said today at the Israel Institute for Energy and the Environment convention that the gas companies had given an ultimatum in the talks - "Either gas or competition" - while the antitrust authority demanded "Both gas and competition."

Gilo said that the emerging plan to regulate the gas market "will not lead to competition." Gilo said, "We demanded competition and the monopoly told us: 'Decide - if you insist upon healthy competition, then we won't produce gas. Choose gas or competition.' But we want to tell them that we want both gas and competition. That the Israeli consumer deserves both gas, and a competitive gas market."

"I don't think I'm the most popular man in this hall right now," Gilo said in his opening remarks. Gilo claims that he resigned because of the government plan to implement the emerging plan with the gas companies and harming the independence of the antitrust authority.

"I understand the sincere concerns of the ministries who must take into account considerations such as security, and international relations, but I am not an expert in matters that are not connected to competition," said Gilo, and added, "The other considerations were not invisible to me, which is precisely why I agreed to the compromise plan that we presented to the gas companies last February. Also the February plan was not ideal in terms of competition, but at least it gave competition a chance."

Gilo further explained why did not sign the order he agreed upon with the gas companies: "I felt that the responsibility I held, as the person responsible for competition, that the result did not allow me sign the agreement, to submit it to the antitrust court, and argue that this would lead to competition."

Gilo said that the problem with the new plan formed by the state is Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) ownership of both the Tamar and Leviathan reservoirs, and the fact that it will continue to be a partner to "Negotiations and pricing of gas in the domestic market."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 26, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

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