The Commerce Commission is taking legal action against a major gas network operator for anti-competitive behaviour.

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First Gas owns and controls the only plumbed natural gas transmission network in the North Island, providing gas to more than 65,000 customers.

The commission says it has filed proceedings in the Wellington District Court over the conduct of the company in acquiring the Bay of Plenty assets of GasNet Limited.

It‘s alleging that First Gas acquired the assets in December 2016 without clearance from the commission and contractually restrained the company from re-entering the Bay of Plenty region for five years.

The commission says the company isn‘t contesting the action and has filed admissions, with a penalty hearing still to be held.