PS12441-PS12450-PS12451-PS12453 - Italian Competition Authority: interim measures decisions against Iren, Iberdrola, E.ON and Dolomiti for unlawful unilateral changes in the price of electricity and natural gas supply  


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The Authority opened the four investigations on 19 October 2022. Iberdrola and E.ON must immediately apply the original terms and conditions of their offers and allow a return to supply under the original terms and conditions. Dolomiti and Iren must suspend their unlawful notifications of changes to the economic terms and conditions of their offers.

The Italian Antitrust Authority has adopted four interim measures decisions against the companies Iren, Iberdrola, E.ON and Dolomiti, suppliers of electricity and natural gas on the liberalised market, for failing to comply with the prohibition on changing the price of electricity and natural gas provided for by Article 3 of Italian Decree Law no. 115 of 9 August 2022 (the “Aid-bis Decree”), converted into Law no. 142 of 21 September 2022.

The rule in question suspends, until 30 April 2023, the effectiveness of contractual clauses that allow distribution companies to change the price of supply and related pre-notifications sent to customers, unless the changes had been made before the Decree entered into force.

Following the opening of proceedings to ascertain the existence of unfair practices and the related need for interim decisions, none of the companies adequately justified their conduct or considered changing it. Therefore, the need for interim measures remained in respect of all the companies.

Specifically, Iberdrola and E.ON informed users that their supply contracts were being terminated owing to excessive incurred costs, unduly pressuring consumers to accept a new contract under much worse economic conditions or to switch to alternative suppliers.

Dolomiti incorrectly alleged that its notifications of a unilateral change in the supply price were valid, given that they were sent before the entry into force of the Aid-bis Decree (10 August 2022), whereas the Decree only makes an exception for unilateral changes "completed" or actually applied before that date.

Iren unduly informed customers that their fixed price offers were expiring in order to apply new and worsening supply conditions, replacing its previous notifications of unilateral modifications to economic conditions with new notifications equally prohibited by the Aid-bis Decree.

For these reasons, the Authority has decided to impose:

  • with regard to Iberdrola and E.ON, the obligation to apply the original supply conditions to consumers who signed new contracts under worse conditions; to allow consumers who, following the termination, chose a new supplier or were transferred to supply under the safeguard regime, to return to supply under the original conditions;
  • with regard to Dolomiti and Iren, the suspension of unlawful notifications of unilateral changes to the economic conditions of their offers, maintaining, until 30 April 2023, the supply price applied before 10 August;
  • with regard to all four companies, the obligation to inform consumers, individually and in the same way as previously, that the notifications sent have been declared invalid and that interim measures have been put in place.

The companies must inform the Authority of the measures they have taken to comply with the interim measures decisions within 5 days.

The Authority has also sent requests for information to 25 other companies (A2A Energia, Acea Energia, AGSM ENERGIA, Alleanza Luce & Gas, Alperia, AMGAS, ARGOS, Audax Energia, Axpo Italia, Bluenergy Group, Duferco Energia, Edison Energia, Enegan, Enel Energia, Engie Italia, Eni Plenitude, Enne Energia, Estra Energie, Hera Comm, Illumia, Optima Italia, Repower Italia, Sinergas, Sorgenia, and Wekiwi) regarding their conduct after 10 August and any changes to the economic conditions of their offers.

Rome, 28 October 2022