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E.ON to auction natural gas in Hungary

E.ON AG, Europe's second-largest utility, will auction 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas in Hungary on May 4, to satisfy the European Union's conditions for its acquisition of Mol Rt's gas businesses, Bloomberg reported. Mol Földgázellátó Zrt, the Mol gas-supply unit E.ON agreed to buy with other Mol assets in November 2004, plans to sell 40 gas contracts of at least 25 million cubic meters each in an auction on May 4, the company said. Big gas customers and trading companies are eligible to submit their bids.

E.ON got EU approval for the purchase of Mol's gas units Dec. 21 on condition it auction 1 billion cubic meters of gas each year for eight years and sell half its 10-year supply contract with Mol's production unit. The European Commission said E.ON's auctions may help eliminate the anti-competition effects of its acquisition. The minimum bidding price at the May 4 auction will be 95% of the weighted average price Mol Földgázellátó pays for the fuel, the company said. Contracts sold in the auction will take effect starting on July 1, Mol Földgázellátó added.