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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Spain slammed over Endesa merger
Businessmen walk past the Spanish electricity company headquarters Endesa in Madrid
Energy takeovers are as much about politics as they are business
The European Commission has told Spain that it has broken EU merger rules in its handling of the takeover of power firm Endesa by German rival E.ON.

The Spanish government has backed the 27bn-euro ($34bn; 18bn) tie-up, but imposed 19 conditions, including the sale of a number of power plants.

Brussels had already told Spain not to use its veto to block the takeover.

The Commission said it would wait for Spain's response before possibly ordering it to drop the conditions.

E.ON's bid for Endesa has been a big issue in Spain, where the government had already given its blessing to a bid from Spanish energy group Gas Natural.

Surging energy prices worldwide have left many countries concerned about the security of supplies and eager to see the creation of large national providers.

At the same time, many power companies are looking to access markets such as Spain, in an effort to reduce costs and become pan-European energy providers.




SEE ALSO
E.ON's Endesa bid gets go-ahead
28 Jul 06 |  Business
E.ON in $35bn Endesa takeover bid
21 Feb 06 |  Business
Madrid backs Gas Natural takeover
03 Feb 06 |  Business
Gas deal lifts E.ON's UK presence
26 Sep 05 |  Business
Bid move for Spanish power firm
06 Sep 05 |  Business
Germany clears 10bn euro gas deal
31 Jan 03 |  Business

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