E.ON UK boss calls for competition probe into energy market

LONDON Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:39pm EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - The chief executive of one of Britain's "big six" energy suppliers called on lawmakers to launch a competition probe into the country's utility market.

"I fundamentally believe that this market is competitive but we are not trusted and therefore I believe we need to have a very thorough Competition Commission investigation," E.ON's (EONGn.DE) UK chief executive Tony Cocker told a cross-party committee on Tuesday.

Soaring energy bills have jumped to the top of the political agenda in Britain since opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband promised to freeze energy bills for 20 months if he wins power in 2015, a proposal the government says is an empty gimmick.

Cocker also said he agreed with recent commentary which said that the announcement of Labour's planned energy freeze had raised the cost of capital and therefore raised the long term cost of electricity and gas supply for British customers.

The bosses of Britain's biggest energy suppliers were being quizzed by lawmakers over allegations they have abused their power by hiking electricity and gas prices.

(Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Christine Murray)

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