11 Mar 2019, 14:20
Rachel Waldholz

EU regulators scrutinise German utility deal, citing anti-trust concerns


EU regulators will take a hard look at part of the deal between German utilities RWE and E.ON to make sure they do not violate anti-trust rules, Reuters reports. The European Commission is concerned that E.ON’s plan to acquire the assets of former RWE subsidiary innogy could reduce competition and lead to higher prices. The Commission has also expressed worries about the deal’s impacts in Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. The announcement comes after competitors expressed concerns that the agreement would allow the two companies to dominate their respective markets.
The purchase is part of a complex asset swap between the utilities that would reshape German energy markets. The deal, agreed in 2018, would leave E.ON as a major power supplier, focused on energy grids and retail customers, while RWE focused on power production, including from renewables.
The new announcement comes just weeks after the deal cleared an earlier hurdle, when the EU approved RWE's plan to acquire the renewable energy businesses of both E.ON and Innogy, a former RWE subsidiary.

A spokesman for E.ON told Reuters that the company was still confident the deal would go through in the second half of this year. The EU is expected to decide by July 23 whether to allow the deal to go forward.

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