The European Commission confirmed in late December that it had sent a letter of formal notice, the first stage of infringement proceedings, to the French group EDF, the largest electricity supplier in France and one of the biggest players in the sector in Europe.

Following a formal investigation launched in July 2007, the EU executive concluded that the contracts EDF signed with large industrial customers in France could prevent them from switching to other providers, thereby reducing competition on the market, "in particular when considering the exclusive nature and duration of the contracts and the share of the market that is tied by them,"it notes. Under the same contracts, "the resale of electricity appears to be restricted". These practices may constitute infringements of EC Treaty rules on abuse of dominant position (Article 82), notes the Commission. In particular, they may have made it...

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