Spain's Competition Watchdog Opens Proceedings Against Gas Natural and Endesa

By Alberto DelclauxFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Spain's competition regulator said Monday that it has opened proceedings against the electricity generation units of Gas Natural SDG SA (GAS.MC) and Endesa SA (ELE.MC) after identifying signs of price alteration in the wholesale electricity market.

The National Commission on Markets and Competition said it had found signs that both companies had altered the natural-gas market with the objective of obtaining higher revenues between October 2016 and January 2017.

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The alleged misconduct--which would represent a serious infraction in Spanish law--involves five Gas Natural plants and one Endesa plant, the regulator said.

Gas Natural issued a statement denying any wrongdoing and said that it would contest the allegation. Moreover, the company encouraged the regulator to make reforms to the electricity market.

Enel SpA (ENEL.MI) subsidiary Endesa said that it was studying the regulator's decision and that it would respond in due course. Endesa also pointed out that high prices in the wholesale electricity market were not favorable to its business strategy.

Write to Alberto Delclaux at alberto.delclaux@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 18, 2017 10:46 ET (15:46 GMT)