CNMC investigates electricity distributor Naturgy for violating free competition | Companies

The National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) has just announced that it is investigating electricity distributor Naturgy, UFD Distribución Electricidad and its own parent companies Holding Negocios Electricidad and Grupo Naturgy Energy for alleged conduct contrary to Article 3 of Law 15/2007 . July 3 on the protection of competition.

According to a statement from the organization he heads Kani Fernandez, “The Company would provide preferential and discriminatory treatment to incidents and claims submitted by certain marketers between 2021 and 2022 (CNMC does not specify whether these will belong to the Naturgy group itself), to the detriment of third-party independent marketers. ” Thus, the UFD (formerly Unión Fenosa Distribución) “may have distorted free competition in the retail electricity market and failed to comply with the Unfair Competition Law of 1991.”

The investigation, the CNMC points out, began with a series of complaints against the UFD for actions contrary to the law, as well as confidential information carried out by the Directorate of Competition. Suspecting possible anti-competitive practices, the organization’s Competition Chamber inspected the two headquarters of the Naturgy group. The initiation of this case does not predetermine the final outcome of the investigation. recalls the CNMC, which now opens a maximum period of 24 months for investigation and decision.

Naturgy protects itself

Upon learning of this statement, Naturgy defended itself by stating that “UFD scrupulously complies with the regulations and applies the same procedures in its relationships with dozens of marketers on a daily basis as part of its activities as an electricity distributor, without any favor or treatment. benefiting someone in particular.”

And he adds that “it provides the CNMC with the opportunity to cooperate in whatever is needed during the investigation phase. As the CNMC itself points out, the initiation of this case in no way predetermines the final outcome of its investigation.”

Just a year ago, CNMC inspectors raided the headquarters of two major electricity distributors, Endesa and Naturgy, allegedly seeking information that would demonstrate that these companies operating low- and medium-voltage distribution networks were obstructing independent consumers connecting to the system. . It is unknown whether this new investigation is related to the above review.

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