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EU Regulation and Competition Policy among the Energy Utilities

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  • Richard Green

Abstract

The energy utilities – gas and electricity companies – were traditionally regulated monopolies, but once the EU decided to liberalise them, competition policy became applicable. The EU has used a series of Directives to set out the framework for a market-led energy sector, with third party access to the transmission and distribution networks, and a choice of retailer for all customers, although these depend upon the agreement of Member States. The Commission has been able to take action directly when ruling on mergers in the sector, and in several cases has obtained concessions that should increase the level of competition as a condition for allowing a merger. This is a reactive approach, however, and problems remain in the sector, as shown by the 2005-7 sector enquiry. The proposed third energy package may remove some of the barriers to effective liberalisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Green, 2007. "EU Regulation and Competition Policy among the Energy Utilities," Discussion Papers 08-01, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:08-01
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    Cited by:

    1. Machiel Mulder, 2015. "Competition in the Dutch Electricity Market: An Empirical Analysis over 2006-2011," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    2. Francesc Trillas, 2008. "Regulatory federalism in network industries," Working Papers 2008/8, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    3. Trillas, Francesc, 2010. "Electricity and telecoms reforms in the EU: Insights from the economics of federalism," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 66-76, June.
    4. Bollino, Carlo Andrea & Ciferri, Davide & Polinori, Paolo, 2013. "Integration and Convergence in European Electricity Markets," MPRA Paper 44704, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competition Policy; mergers; electricity; gas; liberalisation;

    JEL classification:

    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities

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