Thursday, January 17, 2008

Spanish Government Resists Foreign Utility Companies Operating on its Soil – Willing to Perpetrate but will not be a Victim – E.U. Rules Otherwise

EU regulators threaten action against Spain over Endesa bid

(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission threatened legal action against Spain on Friday after Madrid failed to lift disputed conditions on a takeover bid for Spanish power company Endesa.

The European Union's top competition watchdog had given Spain until Thursday to lift the conditions on Italian energy group Enel and Spanish construction group Acciona's joint bid for Endesa.

Despite the passing of the deadline, a Commission spokeswoman said regulators had not received any indication from Spain that it would scrap the conditions.

(Meanwhile Spain has no problem with Endesa abusing people in other countries:

Endesa Strategy & Tactics I – Revisiting the Ralco & Pangue Hydroelectric Projects on the Rio Bio Bio

Switch Off - 2004 Documentary of the Mapuche struggle against the international energy conglomerate, Endesa SA )

"We still haven't received anything," she said. "We're looking for them to lift the conditions and if they don't lift the conditions we'll have little choice than to open an infringement procedure."

After long blocking a bid by German company EON for Endesa, the Spanish government gave the green light in July to the combined bid to acquire Endesa but attached a string of conditions.

The Commission has said the illegal conditions included an obligation for Enel and Acciona to maintain Endesa as an independent company and to retain its decision-making centre in Spain.

The European Union's executive arm has also sounded the alarm about limitations on Endesa's debt service ratio and on the company's dividends distribution policy.

Equally, the Commission has said an obligation on Endesa generation assets to purchase amounts of national coal was incompatible with EU rules, as was an obligation to keep far-flung assets (i.e. Chile) not on the Spanish mainland within the Endesa group.

Madrid and the European Commission had already clashed over EON's bid for Endesa, which was seen in Brussels as an example of crude protectionism by Spain against another European company.

Here is the full article.