The European Commission has launched an inquiry to find out whether or not French firms are illegally benefitting from state-subsidies for electricity.
Anti-trust commissioner, Neelie Kroes, believes the state financing of certain companies’ power costs could distort competition between European industries.
It follows the launch in January of a similar inquiries into preferential tarifs in Spain and Italy.
The new French government has already made clear that it wants to limit increases in electricity and gas prices after energy markets are fully opened to competition in July.
But sparks continue to fly over the impending liberalisation.
Some unions and consumer groups say eventual price hikes are inevitable and will hit ordinary households hard.