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The Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the Fair Trade Commission released joint guidelines Monday to regulate nonutility firms as they enter the nation’s electric power retail market.
The move is in line with the revised Electricity Enterprise Act, which will take effect on March 21.
Under the revised regulations, nonpower firms can provide major users, such as hospitals and companies, with high-voltage electricity through power lines owned by utility firms.
Power companies are to notify MITI by Jan. 4 of the consignment fees they intend to impose on the firms who are to use their power lines, according to the revised law.
The guideline, the first of the kind drawn up jointly by MITI and the FTC, aims to ensure fair competition between new entrants and conventional utility firms.
It prohibits, for instance, power companies from offering unfairly low prices exclusively for those who are negotiating with new entrants, a practice which would effectively bar newcomers to the market.
It will also ban utility firms from offering unfairly low prices exclusively to their affiliated firms.
Roughly 30 percent of the overall power market will be liberalized as part of the nation’s ongoing structural reform of the economy.

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