European Commission approves E.ON’s acquisition of Innogy

The European Commission has approved the merger of German energy companies E.ON and Innogy.

“It is important that all Europeans and businesses can buy electricity and gas at competitive prices,” said European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy. “Today, we can approve the acquisition of Innogy by E.ON because the commitments offered by E.ON will ensure that the merger will not lead to less choice and higher prices in the countries where these companies operate.”

Both E.ON and RWE, which controls Innogy, are active in several EU member states but their activities mostly overlap in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and the UK.

Following the merger, E.ON will focus on the distribution and retail supply of electricity and gas, whereas RWE will be primarily active in upstream electricity generation and wholesale markets.

“The new E.ON’s future begins today,” commented E.ON CEO Johannes Teyssen. “The integration of Innogy will create a company fully dedicated to putting customers at the centre of everything it does. We want to partner with our customers to actively shape the new energy world while becoming more innovative, using energy with ever-greater efficiency, and making an effective contribution to climate protection.”

During its investigation into the merger, the European Commission looked at concerns that the transaction would have significantly reduced competition in the German, Czech and Hungarian markets.

E.ON offered to divest most of its customers supplied with heating electricity in Germany, all assets that may be needed to operate effectively in the market and to discontinue the operation of 34 electric charging stations located on German motorways. The company also committed to divest its business in the retail supply of electricity and gas to unregulated customers in Hungary and in the Czech Republic.

After the EU announcement, E.ON announced that it would being the process of selling an energy supplier in the Czech Republic.