Competition and Competition Policy in the Austrian Electricity Market
Both industry and private households have profited substantially from the liberalisation of the electricity markets, the former, however, to a significantly greater extent than the latter, which points at different competition intensities in the two markets. The favourable development of electricity prices compared to an alternative scenario without liberalisation nevertheless should not obscure the fact that competition and regulatory authorities have so far not been able to sustainably implement "workable" competition in the Austrian electricity markets, in spite of ongoing positive developments aiming to invigorate competition in the wake of the crumbling of the politically encouraged supplier cartel made up of EnergieAllianz and Verbundgesellschaft. Due to unresolved homemade structural problems, liberalisation has left incumbent electricity suppliers largely unchallenged in their position as local monopolists. This unsatisfactory situation has been further exacerbated by a substantial increase in market concentration caused by horizontal and vertical mergers of public utilities and the delayed implementation of legal "unbundling", i.e., the separation of network operation and electricity supply. The liberalisation dividend expected from opening the energy markets thus is in serious trouble of being thwarted.
Wettbewerb Wettbewerbspolitik Strommarkt Marktliberalisierung Österreich
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