Interesting news from the European Commission yesterday on competition enforcement in the energy sector. The Commission announced that it has reached the preliminary conclusion that the Greek electricity incumbent generator PPC has infringed Article 102 by predatory pricing in the wholesale electricity market. The Commission alleges that PPC abused its dominant position in the Greek wholesale electricity market between 2013 and 2019 by supplying electricity from its lignite and gas plants at prices below their variable costs. According to DG COMP, this had the effect of marginalising independent power producers, and thereby obstructing retail market liberalisation, as well as leading to higher emission levels.
The Commission has been relatively quiet in competition enforcement in the energy sector for some years, and as far as I recall has never issued a decision on predatory pricing in electricity generation, so if this results in a decision, the Commission’s analysis of costs and prices, and the interaction of the various elements of each, will be particularly interesting. A case to watch over the next couple of years.
If you need more information or further guidance in this area, please contact Peter Willis.