Reti di trasporto nazionale e concorrenza nei mercati del gas: il caso Eni-Snam Rete Gas
[Networks and competition in natural gas markets: the case of Eni-Snam Rete Gas]
In transposing EU Directive 73/2009/CE on natural gas infrastructures into Italy’s national legislation, the country opted for a Independent Transmission Operator (ITO) model instead of full ownership unbundling. ITO allows the essential facility to be controlled by a vertically integrated incumbent who is also in charge of choosing the company’s directors, even though within a strictly regulated context. Regulation applies both to the use of the infrastructure itself and information flow to and from it. This paper explores the costs and benefits of ownership unbundling in the light of the literature. The Italian case is studied by developing a simple econometric model that compares the investment policy of Snam Rete Gas – i.e. the operator of Italy’s natural gas transportation network, which is controlled by the former monopolist Eni - with that of Terna, operator of the electricity transmission grid, which has been unbundled from the formerly-vertically integrated incumbent since 2004.
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