December 09
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The European Commission, which oversees EU antitrust policy, is in talks with Germany over its energy support package, which critics say would distort competition in the bloc by giving an advantage to German businesses, Reuters reports.

The €200 billion protective shield, including lower gas prices and reduced sales tax on fuel, is designed to protect companies and households from the impact of soaring energy prices.

"We are fully committed to preserving a level playing field and a single market, and avoiding harmful subsidy races," a European Commission spokesperson told a news conference when asked about the German package.

"What I can say is that we are in contact with the German authorities on this matter," the spokesperson continued, without elaborating, but noting that it was talking to other national authorities too.

The European Commission, which oversees competition policy in the 27 EU countries, decides whether state aid is legal or not after its members are notified of their plans.

EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton reacted to Germany's plan in a tweet Friday, saying the EU needs to be vigilant about a level playing field.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a speech Saturday that the European Union needs to find a common response to the energy price crisis. "Without a common European solution, we seriously risk splitting," she said.

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