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Nine electricity suppliers in Taiwan slapped fine of $200M

Publication Date : 10-07-2014


Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) yesterday said it would slap a fine of NT$6.007 billion (US$200 million) on nine private electricity suppliers for refusing to cooperate with the Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) in efforts to lower the price of electricity.

This is the third attempt by the FTC to fine the nine electricity suppliers. The commission in March 2013 deemed that the electricity companies violated the Fair Trade Act and issued a total fine of NT$6.32 billion to the nine firms.

The nine companies, however, appealed against the FTC's decision to the Executive Yuan. The Cabinet later revoked the FTC's decision and ordered the commission to issue a new decision over the matter.

The FTC in November 2013 fined the nine companies, ordering them to pay a total of NT$6.05 billion. However, the ruling was appealed by the electricity suppliers again. The Executive Yuan again demanded that the FTC issue a new ruling. The Cabinet said the FTC did not consider every electricity supplier's structure of electricity pricing and their capabilities of profit earning.

The commission yesterday announced its third attempt to impose a fine on the electricity suppliers.

The FTC said that based on its investigation, in order to make a profit, the nine electricity suppliers in 2007 “eagerly” strived for Taipower's consent to reflect the latest fuel costs in its electricity price.

The FTC said, however, that the nine companies privately reached a consensus to refuse to cooperate with Taipower's policy to lower the electricity price even before Taipower held a meeting to discuss the issue.

Noting that the nine companies apparently attempted to regulate the other electricity suppliers' freedom to discuss the electricity price issue with Taipower, the FTC said such an act violated the Fair Trade Act and warrants a heavy punishment.

The nine privately owned electricity suppliers include Formosa Petrochemical Corporation, Ho-Ping Power Company, Ever Energy Corporation and Taiwan Cogeneration Corporation.

The Taiwan Cogeneration Corporation yesterday responded to the FTC's latest ruling, saying that the FTC did not explain why it reduced the total amount of fines levied on the companies, adding that the firm would consult with legal experts before deciding whether or not to file another appeal.

The Formosa Petrochemical Corporation said it did not make sense for the firm to be punished with a fine of NT$1.813 billion, stressing that it did not violate the regulations of the Fair Trade Act.


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