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E.ON reaches 50 million customers after acquiring green energy firm Innogy

Jill Petzinger
Jill Petzinger, Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
E.ON chief executive Johannes Teyssen addresses shareholders at its AGM in Essen, Germany, as background screen shows him shaking hands with RWE boss Rolf Martin. Photo: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

The European Commission has given Germany’s two main energy companies the go-head to carve up RWE’s green-energy subsidiary Innogy on Tuesday.

E.ON and RWE had agreed on the complex asset and share swaps deal in March 2018. The EC’s approval of the deal makes E.ON one of Europe’s largest utility companies with about 50 million customers in 15 countries.

Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the approval to acquire Innogy was granted “because the commitments made by E.ON ensure that the merger will not result in lower selections and higher prices in the countries in which these companies operate.”

The former rivals can now carry on with restructuring and reshuffling of the German power sector. E.ON will take over Innogy's networks and the transport and sale of gas, electricity, and energy services to consumers. RWE, which will hold a 16.7% stake in E.ON, will become a power producer and wholesaler, and buy renewable energy from Innogy and E.ON.

"Private and business customers in Europe must be able to source electricity and gas at competitive prices, and we can today approve the acquisition of Innogy by E.ON," said Vestager.

To address Brussels’ competition concerns, E.ON agreed to stop operating 34 electric-car charging stations in Germany, and to offload part of its retail business in Hungary in June, as well as Innogy’s retail business in the Czech Republic.