Law & Economics: ENERGY - ELECTRICITY - GAS - ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

Antitrust enforcement in the electricity and gas industries - Problems and solutions for the EU

This articles shows how antitrust enforcement in the electricity and gas industries raises specific problems that call for specific solutions. It examines inter alia the following questions: How can the anticompetitive effects of mergers be assessed in a changing regulatory environment? Should long term agreements in energy purchasing be prohibited? What are the benefits of preventive action such as competition advocacy and market surveillance committees? Should Article 82 a) of the EC Treaty be used to curb excessive pricing?

Recent action by competition authorities in the European energy sector includes an opinion issued by France's Competition Authority on supply conditions for electricity-intensive users in December 2005, the adverse opinion issued by Spain's Competition Court on Gas Natural's bid for Endesa a month later and the release of the European Commission's draft report on the energy sector enquiry in February 2006. These developments reflect rapid change in the energy industry and markets in Europe. They also offer an opportunity to examine antitrust enforcement in the electricity and gas industries. This article will show that this raises specific problems, which require tailored solutions (such as amending the two-thirds rule and creating market surveillance committees). The issues of merger

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  • Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines de Paris

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François Lévêque, Antitrust enforcement in the electricity and gas industries - Problems and solutions for the EU, May 2006, Concurrences Review N° 2-2006, Art. N° 740, pp. 34-43

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