S.10.2. Competition Law

D.10.2. Competition Law

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EC accepts TenneT commitments to address antitrust concerns

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Decision requires TenneT to significantly increase cross-border flows of electricity between Denmark and Germany, ensuring that a specific minimum guaranteed capacity is available at all times.

On 19 March 2018, the EC launched a formal investigation to assess whether TenneT, the largest of the four German transmission system operators, infringed EU antitrust rules (abuse of dominant position – Article 102 TFEU) by systematically limiting southern capacity at the electricity interconnector between Western Denmark and Germany, thereby possibly discriminating against non-German electricity producers.

TenneT offered commitments to address the EC’s concerns, namely to make available to the market the maximum capacity compatible with the safe operation of the interconnector between Western Denmark and Germany and, in any event, to guarantee a minimum hourly capacity of 1,3 GW on the interconnector representing around 75% of its technical capacity. The minimum guaranteed hourly capacity is to be reached after an implementation phase of up to six months. Following the planned expansion of the interconnector between Western Denmark and Germany in 2020 (the East Coast Line) and in 2022 (the West Coast Line), TenneT also offered to progressively increase the guaranteed hourly capacity to 2,625 GW by 1 January 2026. Additionally, TenneT pledged to reduce the capacity offered below the minimum guaranteed level only in a very limited number of exceptional circumstances, when no other option is available to ensure the security of the high-voltage transmission network.

The EC was satisfied with the commitments proposed by TenneT and has now made them legally binding for a minimum of nine years. A trustee will monitor TenneT’s compliance with these commitments. In case of non-compliance, the EC reserves the right to impose a fine of up to 10% of the company’s global turnover without recourse to legal proceedings.