The EU today adopted stringent new laws on wholesale energy trading drawn up to promote transparency and curb insider trading.

The rules, which will come into force by the end of the year, mean that for the first time energy trading will be screened at EU level to uncover abuses which could distort prices, and Member States will set up penalties designed to help stop and prevent market manipulation.

EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said: “Today is an important milestone in the development of the internal market. The new trading rules will contribute to fair energy prices. Moreover, by improving market transparency and integrity, we also build confidence of all market participants in the good functioning of the internal market. This will foster competition and ensure that consumers will always get the best deal.”

The regulation will apply to all wholesale electricity and gas trades in the EU, including transportation contracts. Its key rules prohibits the use of inside information when selling or buying at wholesale energy markets; outlaws manipulative transactions or the spreading of incorrect information that give false or misleading signals about the supply, demand or prices; and obliges energy traders to report their transactions to the Agency for the Co-operation of Energy Regulators.

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