Companies interested in offering their services need to follow some principles to be in line with the EU legislation, in particular the provisions of the Solidarity Regulation and competition rules.
Each company can participate either as a seller or as a buyer in any single tender at AggregateEU, but not both.
Cooperation Framework Principles
Commercially sensitive information should only be exchanged bilaterally between the companies offering the services and their individual customers, and this bilateral exchange should be limited to what is necessary for the purposes of negotiating and implementing the respective agreements. Commercially sensitive information exchanged in this context can be considered necessary if the companies concerned can explain how it relates to the agreement they are negotiating, why it needs to be exchanged and why it would be proportionate to the objective of the agreement.
If the companies offering the service as Agent-On-Behalf and Central Buyer are operating in the same market as one of its customers, they need to make sure that access to commercially sensitive information obtained from its customers for the purposes of carrying out its functions limited to staff dedicated to this function, and that such information is not shared with other staff within the company. The Commission stands ready to assist interested companies through informal guidance, including a guidance letter under the Commission Notice on informal guidance relating to novel or unresolved questions concerning Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union that arise in individual cases (guidance letters) 2022/C 381/07 and based on a reasoned request pursuant to paragraphs 10 to 12 of the mentioned Notice.
The companies offering the services of Central Buyer should pass on the benefits deriving from the negotiation of the aggregated demand. Therefore, the Central Buyer should not derive rents on the commodity of gas procured through AggregateEU vis-à-vis buyers in its group. The Central Buyer could earn rent for ancillary services.
The gas demand for which a Central Buyer is procuring gas as part of AggregateEU should be submitted to AggregateEU, even if it was aggregated outside the mentioned mechanism. A confirmatory step will be introduced before the tenders are published to confirm the aggregated demand that is to be tendered.
Should any company offering Central Buyer or Agent-On-Behalf services under AggregateEU have any doubt on how to implement the abovementioned principles with an already pre-defined group of buyers, ad-hoc guidance can be provided in order to fulfil EU legislation and EU competition rules.
Please write to the following address in order to seek further guidance: