THE EUROPEAN Commission has taken the first step towards legal action against Spain and Italy over legislation in those countries to control the voting rights of investments by foreign state companies in the energy sector. Brussels says the laws "may unduly restrict free movement of capital as enshrined in European Union (EU) treaty rules."

The key to this development is the predatory behaviour of the state-owned French electricity supply company EDF, which has been openly seeking purchases in other EU countries. The laws enacted in ...

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