German government aims to support E.ON and RWE’s cause in European court
The German government has requested permission to support the European Commission in the European General Court (EGC) when the Commission defends its 2019 decision to greenlight the merger deal between German utilities RWE and E.ON, reports Handelsblatt. Sources from the group of plaintiffs – which includes competitors of the two energy companies such as local utilities – said it was “unusual” for the government to take sides so clearly in a merger dispute. However, Handelsblatt writes it is not the first time the German government has gotten involved in such a case. The government’s request, seen by the newspaper, states: “The federal government will fully support the motions dismissing the complaint."
The European Commission in early 2019 said it would not raise antitrust objections to the deal between German utilities RWE and E.ON. The approval cleared the way for RWE to acquire the renewable energy businesses of both E.ON and Innogy, a former RWE subsidiary. The decision settled one piece of a complex asset swap between the utilities that would reshape German energy markets.