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Power Exchanges

Related Lawyers: Anthony Maton, Andrew Bullion, Laurent Geelhand
Related Practice Areas: Competition Litigation

In March 2014, the European Commission (“EC”) imposed fines totalling €5.9 million on European spot power exchanges, EPEX Spot (“EPEX”) and Nord Pool Spot (NPS) for their participation in cartel within the European spot electricity trading services sector which affected the European Economic Area (“EEA”).

The Cartel

The infringement lasted approximately seven months within 2011-2012, and was brought to an end when the Commission and European Free Trade Association (“EFTA”) conducted unannounced inspections at both cartel members’ premises.

The cartel affected spot markets, which are essentially organised markets for trading electricity. Trading on a spot basis involves trading for the short run, such as within the same day or for the next day. The cartelists when exploring a joint approach on the technical systems to be incorporated for trade in the context of the Internal Energy Market initiative (“IEM”) imposed amongst themselves a non-compete agreement which the EC highlighted as falling well beyond the legitimate purpose of cooperation as found within the IEM. 

Supporting Documents