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The regulatory framework

The companies of the A2A Group work in highly regulated sectors where the legislative and regulatory situation is in constant evolution, especially as far as electricity and natural gas are concerned, but also in connection with the management of the integrated water cycle and environmental services.
The Group adopts policies to monitor and manage legislative risk in order to mitigate its effects, to the extent possible, by means of controls structured on several levels, which envisage collaborative dialogue with the institutions and government and sector regulatory bodies, active participation in trade associations and working groups set up at these bodies and an examination of changes in legislation and provisions issued by sector authorities. Further details may be found on page 138.
In addition, constant dialogue is envisaged with the business units affected by changes in legislation, in order that the potential effects may be fully assessed.

Competition rules

In 2011, A2A again met the commitments made with the anti-trust regulator (the “AGCM”) concerning two proceedings on the protection of competition in which certain Group companies were involved.
More specifically, in 2010 the AGCM accepted the commitments made by A2A and its distribution companies as part of the open procedure for possible conduct abusing a dominant position, consisting of hindering switching (the changing of an electricity or gas supplier) and providing withdrawal data in an irregular manner.
The second proceeding on the other hand involved A2A Trading in its capacity as a toller for Edipower (the toller supplies fuel to the electricity power station operator and obtains the electricity produced, then placing it on the market, against the payment of a price for the use of the power station) together with Edison Trading, Alpiq Energia Italia and Iren Mercato. Following a report by the Electricity and Gas Authority on an unusual trend in electricity prices on the wholesale electricity market in Sicily, the AGCM initiated an enquiry against Edipower and the tollers (at the same time as it initiated a similar proceeding into ENEL) alleging a possible coordination in the tollers’ offering policies aimed at affecting the quantity and hence the price of electricity in Sicily. In December 2010, the AGCM accepted the commitments made by Edipower and the tollers, including A2A Trading.
Regarding unfair commercial practices, A2A has signed an agreement with certain consumers’ associations to prevent and report any fraud harming domestic customers. Further details may be found on page 110.

Compliance with laws and regulations

In 2011 the Electricity and Gas Authority issued three sanctions against A2A Reti Elettriche S.p.A.. The first consisted of a penalty of 302,000 euro for breach of the provisions regarding managing the details of withdrawal points and combining withdrawal measures for the purpose of the dispatch of electricity. The second consisted of a penalty of 187,500 euro for delays in communicating data required for the correct billing by sales companies and for the failure to comply with article 4 of the TILP, which establishes the application of the treatment on an hourly basis to all low voltage supplies with available power exceeding 55 kW. The third regarded a penalty of 27,000 euro concerning the breach of the provisions of article 23, paragraph 1 and article 4, paragraphs 3 and 3-bis of the Consolidated Sales Text (TIV), Attachment A resolution no. 156/07; the penalty was inflicted due to the failure of the company to comply with the requirement to communicate the address of the registered office or the exemption address of certain users entitled to safeguarding conditions, previously provided by the distributor in question, and of certain users connected to the network of the distributor and included in the dispatch contract of the operator providing the safeguarding service as the result of a switch from third party operators (loss of prerequisites for greater protection or because remaining without a supplier on the free market).

Safeguarding privacy

A2A guarantees the protection of the personal data of all its stakeholders in compliance with current law and the principles of transparency, lawfulness and propriety. The Group has adopted specific organisational provisions and security measures aimed at preventing the risk that the data may be lost or destroyed, including accidentally, that unauthorised access may be obtained to the data or that processing may be carried out that is not permitted or does not comply with the reasons for the collection of the data. For this purpose the Group has a disaster recovery system which ensures that the data recorded in the customer data bank can be saved and recovered. No complaints were received from customers in 2011 concerning a violation of privacy or the loss of data.