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Brussels, 15 September 2010

Mergers: Commission clears APX's proposed purchase of Belpex in energy trading field

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed purchase by energy exchange operator APX of Belpex, a company that facilitates trading in electricity in Belgium of. At the same time, the Commission also approved the acquisition of joint control over APX by TenneT, Elia and Gasunie. . After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

APX facilitates the trading of electricity and gas for delivery in The Netherlands and Belgium, and the trading of gas in the United Kingdom. Belpex facilitates trading electricity in Belgium.

Under the proposed transaction, APX, now jointly controlled by Tennet and Gasunie, would acquire the activities of Belpex. As a result of the operation, Elia, that controls Belpex, would acquire joint control over the merged APX/Belpex entity, together with Tennet and Gasunie.

Elia is primarily active as the Belgian electricity transmission system operator and jointly controls one of the four electricity transmission networks in Germany (50Hertz). Gasunie is the system operator of a large gas network, consisting of pipelines and connected installations in The Netherlands and Northern Germany. TenneT is the Dutch electricity transmission system operator and one of the four electricity transmission networks in Germany (Transpower).

The transaction primarily concerns the provision of services for the wholesale trading of electricity.

The Commission's investigation found that the operation would not give rise to any significant competition concerns. On the basis of a national market for the facilitation of trading in short-term and a national market for the facilitation of longer-term electricity products, there would be no overlaps between the parties' activities and the parties would not be well placed to enter each other's markets. On the basis of a national market for facilitating trading in all wholesale electricity products, some overlaps would exist. However, the combined market share would be such that no competition concerns would arise from the operation

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 11 August 2010. More information on the case will be available at:

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