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Competition Policy in the EUFifty Years on from the Treaty of Rome$
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Xavier Vives

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199566358

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566358.001.0001

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European Union Regulation and Competition Policy among the Energy Utilities 1

European Union Regulation and Competition Policy among the Energy Utilities 1

(p.284) 11 European Union Regulation and Competition Policy among the Energy Utilities1
Competition Policy in the EU

Richard Green

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses EU policy towards the energy utilities — gas and electricity companies — which were traditionally regulated monopolies, but have gradually been liberalized. The rules for this liberalization have been laid down in a series of EU directives, in 1996 (electricity), 1998 (gas), and 2003 (both). The Commission has also actively tried to shape the industry through competition policy, taking action against restrictive long-term contracts (particularly those involving imports of gas or electricity). The many mergers in the sector have also given an opportunity to negotiate pro-competitive changes. However, the Energy Sector Inquiry of 2007 found that competition was still inadequate, and the Commission had to propose further legislative and other remedies.

Keywords:   electricity, gas, liberalization, mergers, regulated monopolies, remedies, Energy Sector Inquiry

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