European Energy Market After Deregulation: A Process of Limited Restructuring and the Role of European Competition Law

32 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2010

See all articles by Michael D. Diathesopoulos

Michael D. Diathesopoulos

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law; Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Leicester Law School

Date Written: June 23, 2010


The financial organisations engaged in the electricity and natural gas markets were forced to change, due to the deregulation process. The presence of new players in the markets and changes in demand obliged the existing companies to react. This reaction was not limited to an aggressive commercial policy towards new geographic markets but often acquired complex forms, especially in the electricity sector. We note that the electrical power and natural gas sector are not characterised by a dynamic increase of demand nor by new technological achievements, as is the case in the telecommunications sector for example. Indeed the enterprises engaged today in these markets existed before the deregulation. Only a small number of new undertakings entered the market. In spite of this, there was significant development in the market structure and the nature of traders. We could notice a restructuring of the markets and traders, a fact that is a positive step towards the realisation of the domestic market. Therefore, it is necessary to control these changes in order to avoid any incompatibility with the goals of European Competition Law. In other words it is a delimitated restructuring of energy markets which is subject to supervision.

In this paper we firstly present the different aspects of this restructuring and second we highlight the existing restrictions on this process, while we often refer to specific cases of high importance for the European Energy Market. We note that this paper constitutes a part of a broader research paper on the interaction between European Competition Law and Energy Market Regulation.

Keywords: Energy Law, Competition Law, European Law, Energy Market, Energy Market Liberalisation, Energy Deregulation, Restrictions On Competition, Antitrust Law, Energy Market Mergers, Relevant Market, Energy Law and Competition, Energy Privatisation, Energy Partnerships Agreement, Vertical Integration

JEL Classification: K2, K21, K22, K23, K32, L11, L13, L40, L41, L42, L43, L44, L50, L52, L94, L95, L97, L98, Q40, Q48

Suggested Citation

Diathessopoulos, Michail D. and Diathessopoulos, Michail D., European Energy Market After Deregulation: A Process of Limited Restructuring and the Role of European Competition Law (June 23, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Michail D. Diathessopoulos (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE

Leicester Law School ( email )

University Road
Leicester LE1 7RH, LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

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