Can the EC legally demand that a private company sell its assets?
There are several possibilities for private companies to comply with the requirements of ownership unbundling. The appointment of an independent system operator is one option that relieves private companies of the need to sell their networks. Where the ownership of an integrated energy company is widely dispersed, the ownership unbundling requirement may also be complied with by splitting the shares of the integrated companies into shares of the network company and of the remaining business. The shareholders may than keep shares of both companies as long as this does not give them control over any one of them. Since there are these two possible alternatives to the sale of assets, the forced sale of assets can be avoided.