Energy & Access to facilities

Anticompetitive practices

The Australian Federal Court finds restrictive agreements preventing a competitor from entering the market by obtaining direct access to a source of flyash (Cement Australia)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Federal Court declares anticompetitive conduct by Cement Australia* The Federal Court in Brisbane has made declarations in the ACCC v Cement Australia Pty Ltd & Ors matter, finding numerous contraventions of section 45 of the then Trade Practices Act 1974, now the Competition and Consumer (...)

The German Federal Court of Justice issues a decision of principle on the award of concessions for electricity and gas networks (OLG Schleswig / LG Kiel)
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Federal Court of Justice issues decision of principle on the award of concessions for electricity and gas networks* Bonn, 18 December 2013: The Bundeskartellamt welcomes the landmark decisions issued yesterday by the Federal Court of Justice on the award of rights of way for electricity and (...)

Dominance

The EU Commission fines a gas supply company and its subsidiaries for blocking access to key natural gas infrastructure in Bulgaria (BEH)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission fines BEH Group € 77 million for blocking access to key natural gas infrastructure in Bulgaria* The European Commission has fined Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH), its gas supply subsidiary Bulgargaz and its gas infrastructure subsidiary Bulgartransgaz (the BEH group) €77 (...)

The Indian Competition Authority fines joint venture for denying access to an essential facility in the market for upstream terminalling services (East India Petroleum / South Asia LPG)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI imposes penalty on South Asia LPG Company Ltd for abuse of dominant position- a classic case of denial of essential facility* The Competition Commission of India (CCI) by an order dated 11 July 2018, has imposed penalty of INR 19.2 Crore on South Asia LPG Company Ltd (‘SALPG’), a joint (...)

The French Competition Authority fines an energy company for abuse of dominance on the retail gas supply market (ENGIE)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 22 March 2017, the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) fined ENGIE (formerly known as GDF-Suez) € 100 million for abusing its dominant position on the retail gas supply market by using the customer database and business infrastructure it inherited from its former monopoly status in order to (...)

The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court quashes the Competition Authority’s decision on an abuse of dominance in the energy sector, due to a different economic analysis (Energo Pro)
Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski (Sofia)
The Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Bulgaria seating in 3-member panel (the “Supreme Administrative Court”, the “Court or the “Supreme Court”) repealed the decision of the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (the “Commission”) by virtue of which the Commission imposed (...)

The Czech Competition Authority accepts commitments in a case on alleged abuse of dominance by an energy company applying a pricing formula included in a long-term supply agreement (ČEZ)
Diwok Hermann Petsche (Baker McKenzie Vienna)
The Czech Competition Authority ("CCA") accepted in a decision of 20 December 2016 commitments offered by ČEZ, a partly state-owned Czech energy company, due to an alleged abuse of dominant position on the market for purchasing of brown coal. While the CCA refrained from final findings regarding (...)

The Indian Competition Authority dismisses allegations of abuse of dominance against 7 power distribution companies across 4 states due to the jurisdiction being under electricity regulators rather than Competition Act (Open Access Users Association / Tata Power Delhi Distribution)
Vaish Associates Advocates (New Delhi)
CCI dismisses a case against seven power distribution companies across four states* CCI vide its order dated September 29, 2015 closed the case alleging abuse of dominant position by seven power distribution companies, including three from the National Capital and remaining others from Punjab, (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority fines three power distribution companies for abusing their dominant market positions by imposing excessive prices to cable operators (CEZ / EVN / Energo-pro)
Mondelez (Sofia)
On May 27, 2015 the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition adopted three separate decisions imposing sanctions on each of the three power distribution companies, and namely CEZ Distribution Bulgaria AD , EVN Bulgaria Electrical Distribution AD and ENERGO-PRO Grids AD for abusing (...)

The French Competition Authority orders interim measures against a gas provider and enjoins it to grant its competitors access to some of the data in its historic file (GDF Suez / Direct Energie)
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité de la concurrence orders GDF Suez to grant its competitors access to some of the data in its historic file.* This access will enable competitors of GDF Suez to compete with the incumbent operator on an equal footing by enabling them to let customers better know about the (...)

The Moscow Arbitration Court upholds that an electricity provider has abused its dominance (MOESK)
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
Cassation Court: “MOESK” OJSC abused market dominance* On 23rd April 2014, the Federal Arbitration Court of the Moscow District supported the rulings of the Court of First Instance and Appeal Court that had pronounced legitimacy of the decision and determination of the Federal Antimonopoly (...)

Mergers

The EU Commission sends three separate statements of objections to companies alleging procedural breaches of the EU Merger Regulation (Merck / Sigma-Aldric ; GE / LM Wind ; Canon / Toshiba Medical Systems)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 6 July 2017, the European Commission sent three separate statements of objections (“SO”) to companies alleging procedural breaches of the EU Merger Regulation. Provision of misleading information The first SO concerns the Merck/Sigma-Aldrich transaction, which was conditionally cleared by (...)

The EU Commission clears a merger in the energy sector (Gamesa / Siemens)
DG COMP (Brussels)
MERGERS: COMMISSION CLEARS ACQUISITION OF GAMESA BY SIEMENS* The European Commission has cleared unconditionally under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa by Siemens. The Commission found that the transaction raises no competition concerns, (...)

The UK Competition Appeals Tribunal upholds a decision to prohibit a merger in the energy and commodities trading sector (Intercontinental Exchange / Trayport)
CRA International (London)
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CRA International (London)
The CAT upheld on 6 March 2017 the CMA’s decision to prohibit ICE’s acquisition of the energy and commodities trading platform Trayport. The CMA’s original decision found that ICE could use ownership of Trayport to foreclose competitors, shifting liquidity to its own exchanges. It was the first (...)

The UK Competition Authority orders structural remedies to clear a merger on the market of energy trading services (Intercontinental Exchange / Trayport)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 October 2016, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) ordered Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (“ICE”) to sell Trayport to a new owner, to be approved by the CMA, in order to preserve competition on the market for the supply of certain energy trading services. ICE is the largest (...)

The EU Commission clears an acquisition in the markets of oil and gas exploration, the liquefaction of gas and the wholesale supply of liquefied natural gas (BG Group / Royal Dutch Shell)
DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission clears acquisition of BG Group by Royal Dutch Shell* The transaction was cleared as it will not grant Shell market power in oil and gas exploration, LNG liquefaction or LNG wholesale supply. Shell will also not be able to prevent competitors from using its gas infrastructure in the (...)

The Danish Competition Authority abolishes commitments, which no longer are necessary for competition in the wholesale market for electricity in Western Denmark (DONG Energy / NESA)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition Council Abolishes a Commitment from DONG Energy* On 28 May 2014 the Danish Competition Council abolished a commitment from a merger between Elsam (now DONG Energy) and Nesa in 2004. The commitment obliged DONG Energy to auction 600 MW electricity generation capacity (...)

The Australian Competition Authority launches a market consultation on commitments in relation to a proposed acquisition of the business and assets of an energy supplier (AGL Energy / Macquarie Generation)
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC to consult market on proposed undertaking from AGL* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today commenced market consultation on a proposed undertaking offered by AGL Energy Limited (AGL) in relation to its proposed acquisition of the business and assets of Macquarie (...)

The EU Commission clears the merger proposed by a Russian energy supplier targeting a number of companies established in Germany and Netherlands (Gazprom / Wintershall)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Commission Clears Acquisition of German and Dutch Gas Supply and Storage Joint Ventures by Gazprom* Applying the EU Merger Regulation, the European Commission has cleared a proposed acquisition of (i) joint control over WINZ and Wintershall Services of the Netherlands and (ii) sole control (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission adopts new State aid guidelines now encompassing the application of State aid to energy infrastructure in the European Union
King’s College (London)
New Guidelines for State Aid to Energy Infrastructure – A Helpful Move Toward Europe 2020?* 1. Introduction On April 9, 2014, the European Commission adopted in principle new State aid guidelines, which will now encompass the application of State aid to energy infrastructure within the (...)

Regulations

The Hong Kong Competition Authority issues a report outlining the findings of its study into the auto-fuel market
Hong Kong Competition Commission
Competition Commission announces findings of its study into Hong Kong’s auto-fuel market* The Competition Commission (Commission) today (4 May) released a report outlining the findings of its study into the auto-fuel market in Hong Kong. The report identifies a number of issues which the (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes a report and an opinion concerning the energy sector
French Competition Authority (Paris)
The Autorité has published its evaluation report on the legal mechanism providing regulated access to incumbent nuclear electricity (hereinafter ARENH), and an opinion on the decree concerning regulated sales tariffs (hereinafter TRVs), as well as two opinions on plans to phase out TRVs on gas (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority invites views on the revision of the cost of capital input methodologies that apply to electricity lines services, gas pipeline services and specified airport services
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
Press releases published on New Zealand Commerce Commission Commission seeks views on cost of capital input methodologies* The Commerce Commission is now inviting views on whether it should consider reviewing or amending the input methodologies for the cost of capital that apply to (...)

The Russian Competition Authority simplifies access to main oil pipelines and oil products pipelines
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS simplified access of independent companies – exchange trading participants to main oil pipelines and oil products pipelines* On 1st August 2014, changes were made to the Rules for non-discriminatory access to the services of the holders of natural monopolies for transporting oil and oil (...)

The Australian Competition Authority notifies businesses about the obligation to pass through all cost savings attributable to the carbon tax repeal
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
ACCC puts businesses on notice about Carbon Tax Price Reduction Obligation* Now that Parliament has repealed the carbon tax, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will have new powers to take action against businesses that supply regulated goods which fail to pass through all cost (...)

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets issues an unbundling certificate concerning the operation of electricity cable between Maasvlakte in the Netherlands and the Isle of Grain in the UK
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
The Netherlands finalises important part of the Third Energy Package* Transmission system operator BritNed Development Ltd. has received an unbundling certificate from the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM). BritNed has demonstrated to comply with the ‘unbundling (...)

The German Federal Government plans to submit to the Parliament a new bill for a reform of the law applicable on renewable energy sources pointing out that the talks with the Commission concerning state aid-compatibility have not yet been concluded
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
EEG 2.0: Federal Government and Federal States Reach Agreement on Important Issues of EEG Reform* After a meeting with the sixteen state premiers, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Economic Affairs and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel declared that “a high degree of consensus had been reached” (...)

The German Federal Constitutional Court declares the inadmissibility of a complaint challenging a provision of the Energy Act which obliges operators of private power plants to reduce power input on request of the grid operator in return for compensation (German Electricity Grid)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Constitutional Court Declares Complaint Against Curtailment Provision in Energy Act Inadmissible* In a recent decision the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) declared a constitutional complaint (Verfassungsbeschwerde) inadmissible that challenged a provision in the German Energy Act (EnWG) (...)

The German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy receives an update of a position paper on the German energy transition towards a mainly renewable energy supply (Energiewende)
Bird & Bird (Dusseldorf)
Initiativkreis Ruhr Committed to Energiewende, But Demands Adjustments* Initiativkreis Ruhr (IR), an association of 66 leading companies in the Ruhr area (Ruhrgebiet) handed over an update of a position paper on the German energy transition towards a mainly renewable energy supply (...)

The New Zealand Competition Authority issues information disclosure requirements for the owner and operator of the national electricity transmission grid (Transpower)
New Zealand Commerce Commission (Wellington)
New information disclosure requirements for Transpower* The Commerce Commission has today issued information disclosure requirements for Transpower, the owner and operator of the national electricity transmission grid. Under the new requirements, Transpower will publicly disclose information (...)

The German Federal Network Agency and the German Competition Authority present their joint monitoring report on developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2012
German Competition Authority (Bonn)
Monitoring Report 2013 of the Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt* Bonn, 19 December 2013: Today the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency) and the Bundeskartellamt presented their joint Monitoring Report 2013 on developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2012. With (...)

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