Six Italian Energy Companies Fined by Watchdog Over Pricing -- Update
By Helena Smolak
Italy's competition watchdog fined six energy providers more
than 15 million euros ($16.3 million), saying that they prompted
consumers to accept higher prices despite a government ban on
unilateral price hikes for gas and electricity.
The Italian Competition Authority, or AGCM, said Wednesday that
the companies overcharged consumers some time between Aug. 10, 2022
through June 2023, violating government directives that protected
consumers from arbitrary price increases.
Enel Energia faces the maximum fine of EUR10 million, while Eni
Plenitude must pay EUR5 million for raising prices without prior
notice to more than 4 million customers, the authority said.
Acea Energia and Dolomiti Energia were fined EUR560,000 and
EUR50,000 respectively, for not giving customers the required
90-day notice of price changes, it said.
Spanish company Iberdola's Italian unit was fined EUR25,000
after the regulator said it had threatened to cut off customers
unless they accepted unfavorable contract changes. Edison Energia
will need to pay the minimum penalty of EUR5,000 as it raised
prices earlier than allowed but later reimbursed customers, the
regulator said, also noting that the move only affected marginal
number of customers.
Eni Plenitude reaffirmed the correctness of its actions, and
reserved the right to appeal the measure, a spokesman told The Wall
Iberdrola will analyze the authority's decision, but believes
that all its actions were in compliance with the law, a
spokesperson said. Dolomiti Energia told The Wall Street Journal it
has always acted correctly, noting its decision to pull back the
contractual changes it had proposed, thus eliminating any negative
impact on customers.
Enel said it merely renewed expiring economic conditions for
customers as stipulated, without unilateral changes during the
contract period. The company is confident it will be able to
demonstrate the full correctness of its actions, and said it
reserves the option to take legal action.
Edison declined to comment, and Acea Energia didn't immediately
respond to requests for comment.
Write to Helena Smolak at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 15, 2023 08:24 ET (13:24 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Historical Stock Chart
From Jan 2024 to Feb 2024
Historical Stock Chart
From Feb 2023 to Feb 2024