The European Commission has initiated proceedings against both Electrabel, the incumbent Belgian electricity company belonging to the French SUEZ group and EDF, the French electricity supplier, for allegedly abusing their dominant position on the market. The Commission believes that Electrabel and EDF introduced long term exclusive purchase obligations for industrial consumers, making it difficult for new entrant electricity suppliers to acquire these consumers. As a result, the development of a more competitive electricity market in Belgium and France could be seriously hindered. Such a delay in market competition could lead to higher prices and lower quality of service. The alleged infringements will be investigated in depth in the course of the proceedings.