SPAIN'S competition regulator said yesterday it had asked five electricity distributors it is investigating to resume giving their customers the information they need to make a decision on changing their supplier. “The CNC has adopted precautionary measures to oblige firms under investigation to resume data access and to provisionally order a halt to suspending applications to change providers,” a National Competition Commission (CNC) statement said.

The CNC opened an investigation on June 24 into possible anti-competitive practices by Endesa, Iberdrola, Hidrocantabrico, Union Fenosa and E.ON. “Such suspension comes about at a critical time for competition, due to the tariff of last resort coming into force,” it added. The measures were adopted on Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, clients have legally been able to choose from a range of electricity tariffs offered by different suppliers.
The government now only fixes the “tariff of last resort,“ or a cap on prices for consumers who contract less than 10 kilowatts of power. The last resort tariff came into force on Wednesday and applies to clients who buy less than 10 kilowatts of electricity -- mostly households -- as part of moves to further deregulate Spain's electricity market.

The CNC has to report on its findings within 18 months of beginning the investigation.

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