Enel is the largest power provider in the Italian market and as such has the potential to generate excess capacity, which it can sell on to other utilities. However to comply with antitrust rules in the southern European country Enel must sell at a fair price.

However, if Italy’s Authority for Electric Energy and Gas believes Enel’s planned sales do not square with antitrust laws it can step in. In order to comply, Enel’s scheme must be ‘without price indications’, AFX quoted the Italian authority as saying.

With this in mind the Italian authority has threatened to force Enel to sell 3,850 megawatts of electricity capacity to other operators in 2006.

Currently demand from other operators for capacity is double what Enel has offered in its current scheme. The Italian authorities said they would review the situation at the end of the year to determine if Enel’s conduct is acceptable.