Final Word from Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Although ČEZ said yesterday that it didn't know in advance about the EU antitrust raid on its offices, announced the impending inspection a full 19 hours in advance. Euro even quoted ČEZ in its story, so it's disingenuous of the electric utility to say it was caught by surprise. Euro gave as the source of the leak a "significant energy firm," by which we were probably supposed to understand Czech Coal. But why would an adversary want to give its rival a heads-up about a raid it probably initiated in the first place? The more likely leaker was the Czech antitrust office, which Brussels should also put under the loupe for its intimacy with ČEZ. Leaking the secret and portraying the raid as the desperate reaction of a mean-spirited rival is useful for influencing the debate. If the media chatter centered around the substance of the raid, pressure could quickly rise for ČEZ's top bosses to be removed.[Czech Republic competition monopoly anti-competitive]

Glossary of difficult words

leak - an intentional disclosure of secret information; 

impending - about to happen;

disingenuous - not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really knows; 

Czech Coal - a supplier and rival to ČEZ in the sale of coal;

adversary - opponent, rival; 

heads-up - advance warning of something; 

to put under the loupe/magnifying glass - to inspect, to take a close look at something; 

intimacy - closeness; close friendship; 

chatter - trivial talk with no end; 

mean-spirited - having a nasty or petty disposition.


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