New in Economic Group (PK0553/05/31/2024) | Austrian Parliament

Vienna (PK) – A legislative initiative by the ÖVP and the Greens aims to increase competition between energy supply companies and prevent price abuse. The “Central Act to Mitigate the Effects of the Crisis and Improve Market Conditions in the Case of Market Dominant Energy Suppliers” (4073/A) is before the Economic Committee.

In particular, electricity, district heating and piped natural gas providers must be prohibited from demanding purchase or sale prices or other business conditions less favorable than those of other utility companies or entrepreneurs in comparable markets. The provision focuses on a market situation where energy suppliers, alone or together with others, have a dominant position and can therefore be abused. However, energy supply companies should have the opportunity to demonstrate that a deviation is objectively reasonable. The arrangement is limited to December 31, 2027.

According to the explanations, the established energy task force ended in 2023, the competition in the domestic energy market is characterized by a high level of concentration and almost stopped in the crisis year of 2022. Therefore, the new regulation aims to prohibit buying or selling prices or other business conditions that do not occur under efficient competition. According to the explanations, the initiative is based on the relevant provision of German law against restrictions on competition. (end) mbu


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