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Regulator investigation on Big Six energy companies could be imminent

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the big six

Following pressure from the government, regulators may be starting an 18 month investigation into the big six energy companies as early as next week.

Ofgem, The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and The Office of Fair Trading may compile a full competition inquiry to investigate the allegations that prices have been over inflated to ensure massive profits.

The regulators have already been compiling a report over the last 3 months and are expected to announce the findings of this on Thursday.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which has been working on the government-commissioned report with industry watchdog Ofgem and the Office of Fair Trading, will provide the latest detailed information on market share, relationships with customers and profit levels in different parts of the business. The report is intended to be a first annual study but is weighted with particular significance and could recommend no change, specific reforms or a fuller investigation by the CMA – which was created by the coalition to replace the Competition Commission as the lead competition body.

David Cameron announced last autumn that he was going to call for a full annual energy competition review, following the 10% price increases on households.

Citizens Advice  claimed that gas and electricity prices had risen by up to eight times more than increases in average weekly earnings. The charity projected last November that by January of this year the big six suppliers would have raised their prices by 37% since October 2010. The average annual dual-fuel bill – for gas and electricity – is £1,315 per household.

 

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