Italy investigates Enel over alleged EV charging monopoly

Italy’s antitrust authority has opened an investigation into Enel, the country’s biggest utility, for possibly abusing its dominant position in charging stations for electric vehicles. The investigation concerns all of Enel’s EV charging business and could also have repercussions for Volkswagen.

The Volkswagen Group launched a joint venture with Enel X only at the end of last year. Ewiva is to build HPC posts in Italy; however, plans may now be in jeopardy.

The antitrust probe also involves Enel’s businesses, Enel X Way and Enel X Way Italia.

In a note seen by Reuters, Enel said that its businesses had always acted according to the rules and were “confident they will be able to demonstrate the full legality and correctness of their actions” to the authority.

While not directly correlated, perhaps, a London-based hedge fund challenged the Italian government yesterday after prime minister Giorgia Meloni’s rightwing coalition made a series of proposals to change the make-up of the boards of state-controlled companies, including energy groups Enel and Eni and defence group Leonardo last week. The government owns a 23 per cent stake in Enel through the finance ministry.

The appointment process for state companies, which takes place every three years, is a critical moment in Italy’s political and business life, writes the Financial Times. Parties in government coalitions traditionally negotiate to appoint political affiliates to top jobs. In the case of Enel, the FT speaks of “fierce negotiation within the government,” referring to people briefed on the talks. The prime minister ditched her preferred candidate to lead Enel to avoid clashing with her coalition partners, including Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi, according to the people and multiple media reports.

Enel shares were down 4 per cent on Thursday after the proposed appointments amidst fears of a U-turn on the current energy transition strategy, according to analysts quoted by the FT. (in Italian), (board appointment, paywall)


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