UK: Officials want jail time for energy market manipulators

The UK is now reportedly looking to make prison terms a possible sanction against individuals found to have violated competition law within the gas and electricity industries.

According to reports, the Department of Energy and Climate Change announced Wednesday that the government is looking to introduce new criminal sanctions next spring that would allow energy regulators to impose jail sentences on people found to have breached energy market rules.

Currently, authorities can fine those individuals but cannot send them to jail or impose a criminal record, reports say.

The DECC will hold a consultation period and will need parliamentary approval for the rule changes.

In a statement, Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said that “manipulating the energy market is absolutely unacceptable, and these proposals provide a much stronger deterrent – more in line with the approach taken in the financial markets.”

Authorities in the UK are investigating the energy industry after energy watchdog Ofgem found evidence of market manipulation that has lead to unfairly high electricity and gas costs for consumers. The Competition and Markets Authority has launched an investigation into the matter.

Full content: Reuters

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