Outlook: French gall
Wednesday 15 December 1999
London claims its get-together with Eastern, which is also foreign-owned, does not technically constitute a merger, since the physical assets and operating licenses will continue to be owned separately by the two parent companies. This is disingenuous. The new joint venture will operate both distribution networks as one under a single management and the two parents will share all the usual cost-saving benefits that come from mergers in the shape of job cuts, single IT systems and shared procurement.
To add to their Gallic gall, EdF is not proposing to share any of the substantial cost savings it expects to achieve with the five million customers of the enlarged group. If the deal goes through unchecked, it will mean further consolidation in an industry which is already ruled by monopolistic fiefdoms, weakening the energy regulator's ability to ensure that customers are not being ripped off.
The French are gambling on the deal being whisked through in Brussels by dint of the sheer size of the respective parent companies and the usual pusillanimous display from the Department of Trade and Industry. Don't let them use the loophole. This is one deal that cries out to be hauled back to London and packed off to the Competition Commission. If ground rules aren't set now, more electricity distribution companies will follow where London and Eastern have led.
- 1 Autism 'caused by genetics', study suggests
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
- 4 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
How Homer Simpson discovered the Higgs boson over a decade before scientists
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Harrison Ford plane crash: Star Wars actor 'seriously injured' after light aircraft crash lands
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
iJobs Money & Business
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...
£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...