Italy's competition watchdog said on Wednesday it had opened an investigation into whether gas distributor Italgas had used its dominant market position to prevent or slow down a competitive tender process in areas in the Venice region.
In a statement the regulator said slowing down the process would allow Italgas Reti to continue managing the gas distribution services in the areas.
A spokesman for Italgas said the group would provide the watchdog with all clarification needed, adding in recent months it had provided the Venice municipality with a wide array of documents that it was ready to integrate.
The probe will be completed by May 31 next year, the competition regulator said.
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Sabina Suzzi and David Evans)