Electrabel has appealed the Commission’s decision to fine them €20 million for acquiring Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (“CNR”), prior to receiving approval by the Commission under the EC Merger Regulation.

Electrabel, a French electricity producer and retailer, notified its acquisition of CNR in March 2008 and subsequently received clearance from the Commission in April 2008. The Commission, however, later announced in June 2009 that it had concluded that Electrabel had already acquired de facto sole control over CNR from as early as December 2003.

In its appeal, Electrabel contends that the Commission had incorrectly classified the infringement, that it had erred in finding that there was an acquisition of de facto sole control and that it had breached the principles of proportionality in imposing such a large fine. Electrabel seeks to either have the Commission’s decision annulled or to have a reduction in the fine imposed.

7 November 2009