Vattenfall is suspected of price manipulation

Vattenfall risks billions in fines after suspicions of having tried to manipulate and raise the market price of electricity. The suspicion comes from the Energy Agency in Finland. Vattenfall claims that these are accidental mistakes.

It is the Finnish public service company EPN that reports on the data.

The Finnish Energy Agency is investigating whether Vattenfall tried to artificially raise the market price of electricity last year.

EPN writes that in practice Vattenfall must have offered the market smaller amounts of electricity than the company had the opportunity to do – or have bought up too small amounts in order to drive up the price.

On May 5 last year, for example, Vattenfall had to offer the stock exchange 2,000 megawatt-hours of electricity.

Risk of billions in fines

If the Swedish Energy Agency can prove that the suspicions are true, Vattenfall risks fines in the amount of billions.

The harshest penalty for price manipulation is 10 percent of the company’s turnover during the year in which the crime was committed. For Vattenfall, it would mean SEK 24 billion, as the 2022 turnover amounted to SEK 242 billion.

Informed the authority themselves

It was Vattenfall themselves that informed the Energy Agency about the matter. According to the company, it is a mistake.

– We are cooperating with the authorities, and are waiting for their announcement, says Markus Fisher, press secretary at Vattenfall, to EPN.

The Energy Agency’s head of market surveillance, Antti Paananen, says that it is still punishable to manipulate the price “accidentally”.

– In this case, the fact that Vattenfall itself informed about the matter can still affect the penalty scale, says Paananen, to EPN.