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EU widens probe into French electricity market

EU widens probe into French electricity market

European Union regulators said Tuesday they would widen a probe into France's fixed electricity prices for large companies.
The European Commission said it is worried that "artificially low" prices could give these businesses an unfair advantage over rivals elsewhere in Europe.
It began its investigation in 2007 but said it would expand it to look at new tariff contracts offered until June 2010 that benefit some of the country's power-hungry companies. Those 3,000 sites eat up nearly a fifth of France's power supply, it said.
In an effort to soothe EU antitrust concerns, Europe's largest electricity supplier, Electricite de France SA, last year agreed to amend contracts with some 60 key corporate users.
The contracts _ with the world's largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal SA; aluminum producer Alcan Corp.; paper mill UPM-Kymmene Corp. and chemical companies Rhodia, Arkema and Solvay _ allowed the companies to buy electricity from EDF at cost price over 15 years, starting in 2007.
The changes allow customers to resell the electricity they buy from EdF to other companies at higher prices and seek new suppliers for their own energy needs.
The probe will not look at prices for households or small companies, the EU said.


Updated : 2021-06-19 06:18 GMT+08:00