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EU fines Electrabel €20 mln for CNR deal

European Union antitrust regulators fined Belgian energy company Electrabel €20 million ($28.2 million) for acquiring control of Compagnie Nationale du Rhone (CNR) without prior approval.

The European Commission, executive arm of the 27-nation EU, approved the purchase of French hydro-electricity producer CNR by Electrabel in April 2008.

But it said Electrabel, a unit of France's GDF Suez, had acquired de facto sole control of CNR in December 2003.

“Implementing a transaction which has not received the clearance foreseen in EU law constitutes a serious breach of the merger regulation,” EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement. (Reuters)