Statement by Antoine Colombani, Spokesperson of Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, on commitments from CEZ concerning the Czech electricity market

Type: Complete press conference   Reference: I-077443   Duration: 10:00:11  Lieu:
End production: 10/04/2013   First transmission: 10/04/2013
On 10 April 2013, Antoine Colombani, Spokesperson of Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, a set of commitments offered by CEZ, the Czech electricity incumbent, and accepted by the Commission. These commitments are now legally binding. The Commission had concerns that CEZ may have abused its dominant market position by reserving capacity in the transmission network in order to prevent competitors from entering the market. After the Commission opened an investigation under EU antitrust rules that prohibit such behaviour, CEZ offered to divest a significant generation capacity. Following a consultation of market participants, the Commission is satisfied that the final commitments offered by CEZ adequately address its concerns.

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TIME DESCRIPTION DURATION
10:00:00 Title 00:00:05
10:00:05 Exterior view of the Berlaymont building 00:00:06
10:00:11 SOUNDBITE by Antoine Colombani, Spokesperson of Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, (in ENGLISH) saying that the Commission has accepted the proposal by CEZ, the Czech electricity incumbent, to divest generation capacity in the Czech market in order to remedy the Commission's concerns; following the opening of an antitrust investigation in 2011, the Commission was concerned that CEZ might have prevented the entry of the new player into the Czech market for the generation and wholesale supply of electricity; in particular, CEZ made a capacity reservation in the transmission system network which prevented potential new entrants from accessing the network; the Commission's preliminary conclusion was that the company did not really need to make such a reservation and this behaviour was therefore anticompetitive; in order to address this concern, CEZ proposed to divest between 800 and 1000 MW of its generation capacity; this will allow the new entry of new players in the Czech electricity market which in time will be able to compete effectively with CEZ; more competition in this manner leads to lower prices and it will therefore benefit all electricity customers in the Czech Republic; this decision follows many previous decisions in recent years concerning energy incumbents in various Member States such as for example Germany, France and Italy, and it is yet another step in the Commission's determined action to ensure that energy markets are truly open and competitive in the EU as a whole, complementing the Commission's efforts to build a genuine single market in energy. 00:02:19
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