The European Commission (EC) has opened an investigation into the proposed E.On acquisition of part of Hungary’s Magyar Olaj-és Gázipari (MOL). The German utility’s planned €2.1 billion acquisition of the gas business of MOL has raised concerns over a lack of competition in the country’s gas and electricity sector.

EC competition commissioner Neelie Kroes said, “It is crucial that the Commission carefully analyses the competitive impact of this takeover, in the context of the ongoing process of breaking down barriers to a fully functional single market for energy.”

Under the terms of the deal, E.On will buy a 75% stake in the wholesale gas trading and storage units of MOL, along with 50% of gas importer Panrusgáz.

Regulators have until 17 November to deliver a verdict on their concerns that the purchase could leave E.On with an unassailable position on control of all gas resources available in Hungary, either domestic and imported.