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Last Updated: Friday, 16 March 2007, 17:38 GMT
Spain replies to EU over Endesa
Endesa headquarters
Endesa is at the centre of a takeover battle
The European Commission says it has received a reply from Spain regarding the way Madrid handled a controversial power sector takeover bid.

EU regulators had complained about conditions the Spanish government imposed on German company E.ON's bid to buy Spanish electricity firm Endesa.

Brussels had given Madrid one week to drop restrictions it had set on the 41bn-euro ($53.9bn; 27.9bn) deal.

The EU considers conditions set by Spain to have broken competition rules.

Takeover conditions

E.ON wants to get a foothold in Spain's power market, which has grown seven times faster than Germany's since 1990.

But conditions on a takeover, set by the Spanish government included keeping the Endesa brand for at least five years, only Spanish coal being used in power stations and the stipulation that certain assets cannot be sold off.

"We did receive the reply this morning," the Commission's competition spokesman Jonathan Todd told a regular briefing.

"We are now going to study this reply very carefully."

Last week, the European Commission said that if it is not told the measures have been withdrawn, it might refer Spain to the European Court of Justice.

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