The European Union said Thursday that it is charging the Italian integrated energy concern Eni SpA ( E) with monopoly abuse.

The European Commission alleged that Eni illegally prohibited rivals from using its natural gas pipelines.

"These practices may have weakened competitors on the market and harmed customers in Italy," according to the European Commission.

Among the various charges, Eni allegedly blocked use of pipelines that transport Russian natural gas from Austria and Germany into Italy during Russia's blockade of Ukrainian natural gas. This occurred at a time when there was "very significant" demand by the marketplace, according to the commission.

The commission is also charging Eni with intentionally underinvesting in the pipelines in order to limit the amount of natural gas that flowed through them and boost the price of natural gas for Italian customers.

Eni SpA is Italy's largest oil and gas company and has global operations. The Italian government owns roughy 30% of Eni.

American shares of Eni were recently moving 2.7% higher at $37.68.

Among Eni's peers in the integrated energy space, BP ( BP) was recently 2.1% higher at $40.78 a share; Chevron ( CVX) was 3.3% higher at $66.78 a share; ConocoPhillips ( COP) was gaining 2.1% at $39.23 a share; Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) was climbing 1.7% at $46.50 a share; and shares of Exxon Mobil ( XOM) were up 1.4% at $70.16.

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