Third-Party Access Rights in the Energy Sector: A Competition Law Perspective
Utilities Law Review, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2007
9 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2007 Last revised: 13 Jul 2008
The article identifies circumstances in which refusal to grant third-party access to energy networks to competitors constitutes an abuse of a dominant position enjoyed by energy utilities. It explores the scope and evident limitations of Article 82 of the EC Treaty in regard to gas and electricity markets in the context of the essential facilities doctrine and refusal to supply cases. It is argued that under certain limited circumstances competition law grants compulsory third-party access. Therefore, even without further sector specific regulation and ownership unbundling,independent energy suppliers can have a legally enforceable right to access energy network facilities owned by dominant energy system operators.
Keywords: third-party access right, energy networks, unbundling, Internal Energy Market, Electricity Directive, Gas Directive, essential facilities
JEL Classification: K21, K23, L12, L13, L43, L94, L95, D42, D43
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation