E.ON plan put to rivals in Brussels

12th June 2008, Comments 0 comments

A series of measures designed to prevent monopolisation by German energy giant E.ON has been presented to the company's rivals for approval

Brussels -- E.ON's competitors were Thursday invited to reject or endorse a deal reached by the German utility and the European Commission that is designed to prevent it from abusing its dominant position on the German energy market.

Interested parties, including consumer groups and governments, were given one month to scrutinize the deal, whose details were published on Thursday in the European Union's official journal.

Should they approve it, E.ON's offers would become legally binding and the commission would close its probes into the company, said Jonathan Todd, spokesman of the EU's competition commissioner.

The commission is currently investigating two cases concerning E.ON's alleged violations of EU competition rules.

The first refers to claims the company abused its dominant position and raised prices by deliberately limiting the sale of electricity production and deterring others from producing more electricity.

The second case refers to similar accusations involving its behaviour as a transmission system operator.

E.ON has proposed a series of solutions to address such concerns. These include disposing of part of its electricity production and selling its electricity networks.

Brussels wants to open up the EU energy markets in order to bring down prices.

And E.ON has already moved to preempt the commission, in spite of strong resistance to the efforts of Brussels by the governments of Germany and France.

Last week, EU government ministers reached a compromise solution allowing big energy companies to hold on to their power grids, but only if their production activities are clearly separated from their network operations.

Separately, the commission confirmed Thursday that it was investigating allegations that E.ON and Gaz de France had agreed not to compete with each other in their respective gas markets. DPA

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