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The European Commission announced on 7 February that it had conducted unannounced inspections at the premises of companies active in managing power exchanges in several Member States. Power exchanges enable trading of wholesale energy products.
The Commission investigated whether the undertakings concerned have engaged in cartel behaviour in breach of Art 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The inspections are a preliminary step in the Commission's investigation.
The Commission officials also participated in unannounced inspections that were conducted by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Surveillance Authority in the same case.
The liberalisation of the energy sector is high on the Commission's agenda as evidenced by its previous announced inspections of gas companies from Central and Eastern Europe in September 2011, and infringement proceedings issued against 18 Member States around the same time for their delay in implementing the EU's third energy package.