Big six

Oil & Gas

UK’s big six utilities seen spared from breakup after review

The U.K.’s biggest energy suppliers probably will escape a recommendation to break up companies when the nation’s anti-trust regulator completes a review of how best to reduce costs and spur competition. The provisional findings of the Competition and Markets Authority are “highly unlikely” to delve into the structure of the country’s energy industry or the wholesale markets, said Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, a U.K. price comparison site. Instead, the regulator will focus on how to get consumers more engaged in managing their bills, she said. The comments, echoed by industry officials who wished not to speak publicly before the decision is announced on July 7, suggest the utility industry’s basic structure probably will be retained by Prime Minister David Cameron’s government. The opposition Labour Party, which lost the last general election in May, had promised to split the industry into separate retail and power-generation businesses.