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A wave of antitrust scrutiny has swept across the European energy markets in recent years. For fear of drawn-out competition law investigations and high fines, targeted energy firms voluntarily offered far-reaching commitments to the European Commission, oftentimes selling off substantial parts of their business.
The Commission has an ambitious plan to create a single market for energy, but liberalisation processes often meet opposition from governments and industry stakeholders. Whenever the EU energy reforms get stuck in political deadlocks, the Commission eagerly resorts to competition enforcement and pushes forward its energy agenda through the back door of negotiations with investigated energy companies. Does this instrumental use of competition rules really foster energy market integration? Or does it backfire and actually hinder, rather than serve, its purpose?
This book provides in-depth case studies of EU competition enforcement in the electricity sector. It shows how the Commission bends and stretches competition law beyond its proper limits to accommodate non-competition goals. The book’s cross-disciplinary approach and clear, straightforward language makes it a good read for both lawyers and economists interested in the interplay between the EU competition and energy policies and their impact on electricity markets.