On 22 January 2018, the Competition Protection Commission ("CPC") announced that it opened a sector inquiry into the electricity markets in Bulgaria.

The CPC decision follows recent public statements alleging potentially speculative prices on the free market of electricity for business customers and price alignment between electricity traders. The inquiry aims to provide a detailed picture of the current market processes and to identify possible additional measures which could contribute to efficient competition.

The CPC is expected to approach a wide range of market participants through questionnaires which are to be sent in the coming weeks. The previous electricity sector inquiry carried out by the CPC in Bulgaria led to three decisions imposing considerable sanctions on electricity distribution companies and their trader affiliate companies for abuse of dominance, making this a particularly interesting case.

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