The German federal cartel office is investigating an alleged cartel involving around seven district heating firms, who stand accused of inflating energy prices affecting 30 districts around the country.

Dow Jones reports that the investigation includes a probe of units of utilities RWE AG (FWBRWE)and E.ON AG (FWB: EOAN)
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Last year, the cartel office gathered and compared data on prices from 2007 and 2008, and found sufficient reason to suspect some prices were inflated, with some companies charging prices well over the average.

This is the latest of a string of investigations into Germany’s energy sector in recent years by the cartel office, which is keen to boost competition in the sector.

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