Bloomberg News

Spain’s Competition Watchdog Fines Endesa $30 Million for Abuse

February 22, 2012

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Spain’s competition regulator fined Endesa SA 23 million euros ($30 million) for two counts of abusing its dominant market position.

Endesa, as the main power distributor in parts of Spain, used privileged information from clients’ requests for grid connections when bidding for those contracts, skewing the market in their favor, the regulator said in an e-mailed press release. An Endesa spokesman, who asked not to be named citing company policy, said the company will challenge the ruling in the National Court.

The fine comes as the Spanish government is devising changes to the power market that may force utilities to accept some of the costs of closing a shortfall in power system revenue that has created a debt of almost 24 billion euros.

The watchdog last year fined Endesa’s rivals Gas Natural SDG SA, E.ON AG and Energias de Portugal SA’s Hidrocantabrico Energia SA unit for similar offenses while Endesa was sanctioned for the same conduct in Mallorca in 2006.

The fine accounts for about 1 percent of the 2.2 billion euros in net income that analysts expect the company to report for 2011 when it publishes its results next week.

The company also charged clients for connection work it is supposed to pay for under Spanish law, the competition regulator said.

Endesa said the ruling contradicts Spanish law.

--Editors: Alex Devine, Stephen Cunningham

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Sills in Madrid at bsills@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net


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