In terms of both German and European competition law, E.ON is far from a dominant market position. The company’s share of power generation capacity in Germany has decreased to about 14 %. This is one of the findings of a study carried out by Frontier Economics, an international business consultancy, on E.ON’s position in the German energy market.
In recent years E.ON has significantly reduced its market share in Germany on all levels of energy business – power generation, grids and sales. It has thus given competition fresh impetus. For example, under an agreement with the EU Commission, it divested a quarter of the German power stations with a capacity of over 5,000 MW. Furthermore, the company sold the entire power transmission grid to a foreign competitor. And by selling Thüga, its subsidiary with stakes in about a hundred mainly local utilities, E.ON significantly reduced its share of the German end user market.
In addition, the study notes that there is a changed market environment characterised by increasing competition. Major foreign players like Statkraft of Norway and GDFSuez of France are now active in the German generation sector. Further international companies have announced similar intentions. Established municipal utilities and regional suppliers are expanding their market shares and investing, for instance, in the construction of their own power stations. New players are also entering the market as a result of the boom in renewable energy sources; small and medium-sized businesses in particular are operating wind, solar or biofuel-driven power generation plants.
The study not only dispels the preconception that E.ON dominates the market. According to the authors of the study, the latest market data also show it is wrong to claim that E.ON and RWE together form a duopoly. If the two companies’ shares in the power generation sector are added, the figure is now merely around 40 %.