The Commission is correct that a world of unbundled ownership is superior to one of integrated networks. Many people in the energy sector are hostile to the Commission’s view, but the hostility often has simple explanations. Some hostility comes from integrated companies, whose obligations to shareholders compel a resistance to liberalization. Some hostility involves the desire for politicians to control the energy sector, as an instrument for implementing other policies than efficiency. Prominent examples of such objections include the complaint that unbundling will threaten credit ratings, and the alleged importance of national champions. After addressing the key objections to ownership unbundling, a general economic conclusion emerges. For anyone who believes in competition, there is no compelling synergy between the ownership of transmission networks and supply activities.

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