Antitrust fines Eur 109 million to Enel and Acea for market abuse

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At the end of an investigation for market abuse, the Italian antitrust authority imposed a EUR 93 million fine to Enel and EUR 16 million to Rome-based Acea. The authority hasn’t gathered sufficient and adequate evidence for a sanction against Milan utility A2A, which has been under investigation for the same charges.

The accusation against Enel and Acea is to have abused their dominant position in the field of electricity sales “to bring the customers to the free market”. Enel and Acea sister distribution companies acting on the field of the non-eligible market (captive market) have promoted actions to move the customers to other sister companies acting on the eligible market.

Since mid-August, Powernews had already wrote several articles about the probability of an unfavourable verdict for Acea and Enel.

The petitions that kickstarted the investigation had been submitted by several companies.
Green Network and Aiget, an association of 50 traders and wholesalers, submitted a petition against Enel; another one has been submitted against Acea only by Aiget, and the last petition has been submitted against A2a by Edison Energia.

Due to the investigation of the financial police’s special-unit, the Antitrust Authority found out that Enel and Acea have used customers’ sensitive information to convince them to move to the free market. Both companies had taken advantages of their brand’s strength to make their customers seemingly good offers. The deadline for the abolition of the captive market is fixed in 2020 and the abusive behaviours of Enel and Acea “have unlawfully kept away the customers from moving to other providers on the free market”.

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