The prosecutor’s office filed a complaint against Naturgy for “unlawful price increases” during the pandemic

Prosecutor’s Office of the National Court filed a lawsuit against the company Naturgy Generación, believing that it committed a crime related to the “unlawful increase in prices for energy production at the combined cycle power plant Sabon-3 since March.” from 2019 to December 2020, which coincided with the economic and social crisis caused by the consequences of COVID-19.

In a press release, the ministry explained that the deputy prosecutor of the National Court, Marta Durantes, filed a complaint after carrying out procedures. found that the company “abused its dominant position in the electricity market of technical adjustments, consciously and purposefully adopting a strategy of offering prices that are not fair and significantly exceed the prices arising in conditions of higher competition, orreceiving unjustified profits in the amount of 43.2 million eurosresulting in additional costs for marketing organizations and ultimately for consumers.

The Ministry of Finance believes that the company could have committed a crime related to the market and consumers, causing “illegal infringement of rights and the interests of consumers and users of the electricity sector.

The prosecutor’s office believes that The jurisdiction to examine these facts lies with the National Court. while its criminal division deals with cases of crimes involving fraud and price-fixing schemes of things which cause or may have serious consequences for commercial circulation, the national economy or causing property damage to the majority of the people in the territory. more than one audience.

Controversial administrative pre-procedural proceedings have been initiated on the fact. complaint filed by Facua, The National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) sent documentation and reports. These proceedings were carried out jointly by Durantes herself and the coordinating prosecutor of the Division of Disputes, Administrative and Social Affairs of the National Prosecutor’s Office, Manuel Campoy.

As the consumer association recalled, Facua reported the incident to the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in July 2023, upon learning about the incident. fine of more than six million euros that CNMC held Naturgy liable for offering at inflated prices during the said period of 2019 and 2020.

Naturgy denies market manipulation

A few hours after the prosecutor’s complaint became known, Naturgy’s official sources denied this information. “never manipulated prices on the electricity market”, recalling that the Supreme Court recently allowed it to close ten of its generating stations, as the company demanded, since it was unprofitable to operate in this market. The company claims that during the CNMC investigation, the Sabon plant registered losses exceeded 6 million euros.

However, the power company says it will review the complaint as soon as it receives it and will take “all necessary procedural steps to demonstrate that it has acted in full compliance with the law at all times.” The CNMC sanctions case on which the complaint will be based is being appealed by Naturgy to the National Court, so it is not yet final.

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