E.on, Innogy deal may need UK antitrust clearance - report

Author: Oran Viriyincy. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

March 12 (Renewables Now) - German utility E.on's (ETR:EOAN) takeover of certain assets from domestic Innogy (ETR:IGY) could be subject to UK antitrust approval if the UK leaves the EU without reaching a deal, newspaper Rheinische Post reported Tuesday.

A no-deal Brexit would effectively mean that any approval the European Commission (EC) grants would no longer apply to the UK and that E.on would be required to get clearance from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in order to take over Innogy's sales and network operations. 

An E.on spokesman reportedly stated that the company is already in talks with the CMA, even though no national watchdog has explicitly said it wanted to be part of the review process. E.on still believes the transaction will close in the second half of 2019, according to the report.

E.on is acquiring Innogy' distribution and consumer solutions business and certain electricity generation assets under a broad asset swap deal it agreed with RWE AG in March 2018. 

The EC earlier in March opened an in-depth investigation into this transaction, saying that the deal may lead to higher prices for consumers, as the proposed takeover might reduce competition in retail markets for electricity and gas in some EU member states. It is expected to announce its final decision by July 23. 

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