Bulgaria’s competition regulator said on December 21 that it found energy groups CEZ and EVN guilty of using unfair trade practices, issuing fines worth a total six million leva, or about 3.06 million euro.
The Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) said that CEZ, which serves customers in western Bulgaria, including capital city Sofia, and EVN, which operates in southern and southeastern Bulgaria, including the cities of Plovdiv and Bourgas, had used concerted strategies and practices within their respective groups that discriminated independent electricity traders and limited electricity trading on the liberalised market.
To wit, the behaviour of the electricity transmission and distribution companies regarding consumers that wished to exit the regulated market “could prevent, limit or impede competition on the free electricity market and infringe on consumers’ interest,” the regulator said.
Two EVN subsidiaries were fined a total 3.8 million leva and two CEZ subsidiaries were fined 2.2 million leva, CPC said. The fines can be appealed at the Supreme Administrative Court within a period of 14 days, the regulator said.