UK energy regulator Ofgem has issued a statement of objections to PayPoint, a company that provides over-the-counter payment services to prepayment energy customers in the UK, alleging that the company has breached competition law.
The statement of objections alleges that:
- PayPoint held a dominant position in the market for over-the-counter payment services for prepayment energy customers for at least the period running from April 2009 to October 2018; this meant that PayPoint had a special responsibility not to act in a way that would impair its rivals’ ability to compete.
- PayPoint included exclusivity clauses in most of its contracts with energy suppliers and retailers, a practice that limited their ability to use rival services, thus excluded its competitors from the market.
- These actions harmed competition to the detriment of consumers, and amounted to an abuse of a dominant position, which breaches Chapter II of the CA98 and/or Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’).
At this stage of the investigation, Ofgem’s findings are considered provisional and no conclusion should be drawn that there has been an infringement of competition law at this stage. The regulator will carefully consider any representations from the company before deciding whether the law has in fact been broken.
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