Spain: The competition authority is investigating energy groups

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MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s competition authority said on Wednesday it had opened an investigation into the energy sector into possible anti-competitive practices.

The National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) said in a statement that its agents had raided the headquarters of public service companies between November 28 and December 2, but did not identify the companies targeted. by investigation.

“If, following the inspection, indications of practices prohibited by the law on the defense of competition and by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union are found, a sanction procedure will be formally opened”, a specified the CNMC.

Utilities’ financial results have soared in Europe due to rising energy prices following the war in Ukraine, prompting authorities to intervene in the market through subsidies, price caps and taxes.

Anticompetitive practices can lead to companies in violation of fines of up to 10% of the total turnover of the previous year, said the body in its press release.

In addition, the Italian competition authority announced Tuesday the opening of an investigation into seven energy groups for suspicion of agreement in the fixing of the prices of electricity and natural gas, including the French Engie.

(Report Matteo Allievi, written by Inti Landauro and Louise Heavens; French version Kate Entringer, edited by Blandine Hénault)

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