Traditionally the former Greek electricity monopoly, PPC, has maintained privileged rights for the extraction and exploitation of all lignite deposits in Greece. However, following an investigation, the European Commission declared that these special rights infringed EU rules on abuse of a dominant position since they hindered competitors from entering the market. On 6 August 2009, the Greek Government agreed to grant exploitation rights by holding public tenders for access to four lignite deposits. PPC is excluded from competing in these tenders to ensure that these are awarded to competitors.