Diskussionsbeiträge // Institut für Verkehrswissenschaft und Regionalpolitik 80
Despite monopolistic networks and in contrast to all other EUmember states, the electricity supply industry in Germany is not ex ante regulated. Control of the sector is left to the cartel agency, which can apply the essential- facilities doctrine as an ex-post instrument. This paper analyses the unregulated institutional frame by means of the theory of vertically related markets; the theoretically derived conclusions appear to be confirmed by empirical observation. The key policy lesson is that the principle of a level-playing field between vertically integrated firms and third parties is violated, due to different incentives if network-access charges are not regulated.