The Commission has announced that it is undertaking a formal consultation with market operators and interested parties, on the commitments offered by EDF to improve the level of competition in the French energy market.

The Commission sent a Statement of Objections to EDF in December 2008, outlining its concerns that EDF had infringed the competition rules by entering into contracts which due to their scope, duration and exclusivity restrictions, closed off the market to other potential suppliers. The Commission was also concerned that the relevant contracts may include illegal resale restrictions and that as a result, EDF’s actions infringed the competition rules on abuse of a dominant position (Article 82 EC Treaty, now Article 102 TFEU).

EDF has offered a number of commitments in order to address the Commission’s concerns. These include:

  • ensuring that other providers can compete for 65% of EDF’s electricity contracts with large industrial users in France;
  • limiting new contracts with large industrial users to a maximum of 5 years duration;
  • allowing customers to partly source their electricity requirements from another supplier; and
  • from 1 July 2010, removing the resale restrictions from its contracts with large industrial suppliers.

A summary of the proposed commitments was published on 4 November 2009 and interested parties were given one month to present their comments.

IP/09/1669 – 4 November 2009