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E.ON Shocks with Proposed Self-Breakup

The German utility's surprise announcement that it may sell its transmission networks may affect the EU plan to liberalize the energy sector

Germany's biggest energy utility, E.ON, said on Thursday (28 February) it was ready to sell its transmission networks, something that could affect the ongoing battle between EU governments over the European Commission's plan to liberalise the union's energy sector.

"It's very astounding what happened here," German secretary of state for the economy Peter Hinze said in response to E.ON's announcement, adding: "The timing coincidence of these events, at a moment when the commission is trying to force through a very sharp position against a minority [of countries], is a very questionable game".