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PR(06)05: The Authority and the European Commission publish Reports on sector inquiries into competition in the EEA electricity markets


The EFTA Surveillance Authority has published its Report on the preliminary findings of the electricity sector inquiry. The publication of this Preliminary Report opens a two-month consultation period, during which time the Authority invites comments from public authorities, the industry, customers and third parties. Comments are requested before 1 May 2006.

The European Commission has also published a Preliminary Report on the results of its energy sector inquiry (gas and electricity). Together, the Preliminary Reports of the Authority and the Commission provide an overview of the competitiveness of the electricity markets in the whole of the EEA. The Reports are published in conjunction with a joint presentation held today, where the preliminary findings of the Authority and the Commission are presented in parallel.

A common theme emerging from the sector inquiry is the existence of a relatively high level of concentration in the wholesale electricity markets of the EEA/EFTA States. Several customers expressed concerns about the market power of the incumbent electricity generators.  In the view of some of the respondents to the sector inquiry, there may be some limited issues concerning unbundling of distribution and supply activities. Compared with the situation in many EU Member States, competition appears to be functioning fairly well in the wholesale electricity markets in Norway. Iceland is in an early stage of the liberalisation process. Liechtenstein is supplied to a significant extent by the incumbent Swiss electricity generator. Full details of the Authority’s preliminary conclusions may be found in the text of the preliminary report.

The Authority launched the sector inquiry into competition in the electricity markets of the EEA/EFTA States on 22 June 2005. The sector inquiry has been carried out in close co-operation with the European Commission which launched an energy sector inquiry into the European gas and electricity sectors on 13 June 2005. 

For further information, please contact:
Mr.   Justin Menezes
Officer, Competition and State Aid Department
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 84

16 February 2006

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