Brussels launches new probe into energy sector
25 January 2007, BRUSSELS — The European Commission said on Thursday it has opened an investigation into artificially low electricity prices in Spain.
25 January 2007
BRUSSELS — The European Commission said on Thursday it has opened an investigation into artificially low electricity prices in Spain.
According to the Commission, artificially low tariffs were set in 2005 for energy-intensive, medium-to-large-sized industries, which may have also provided "abnormal" profits for the Spanish utilities.
Neelie Kroes, EC competition commissioner, said: "Some sectors of European industry are going through difficult times because of high energy prices.
"But we must avoid distortions of competition that prevent consumers from fully enjoying the benefits of a liberalized energy market that unfairly advantage certain companies."
The Commission is concerned that by providing the low tariffs, the existing Spanish utilities may have prevented new suppliers from entering the market.
Also, the EC it is going to investigate possible competition issues in the markets of the energy-intensive industries that received the tariffs.
Earlier this week, the EC said it would take Spain to court over 'protectionist' regulations it imposed on the takeover bid by German power giant E.ON for the Spanish utility Endesa.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news