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Czech Republic/Bulgaria: State-owned utility giant wants new license as political turmoil looms

 |  May 13, 2013

Just months after nationwide protests over rising electricity prices lead to the demise of Bulgaria’s government, Czech state-owned utility CEZ AS is reportedly looking to obtain a renewed operating license in the country whose political turmoil may rise once again. CEZ was one of three utilities raided by the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition for anticompetitive behavior; the events coincided with protests over electricity prices, which eventually lead to government action against state-owned utilities. CEZ is 70 percent owned by the state. Now the company, which denies any breach of competition law, is looking to operate in Bulgaria once again as elections, scheduled for last Sunday, raise political tensions once again. The regulator has already imposed a fine reaching nearly $1.1 million against one of the three utilities initially investigated.

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