E.ON in Talks to Sell Grid, Confirms to Merkel

The head of German utility giant E.ON has told Chancellor Angela Merkel the company is in talks to sell its power grid, a German government spokesman said on Thursday.

"E.ON chief (Wulf) Bernotat told the chancellor that E.ON is in talks on a sale of its power network," the spokesman told Reuters in an emailed response to questions.

The European Commission had been seeking for years to get European utilities to divest their energy grids to increase competition by giving competitors easier access to the networks.

Germany and a number of other European countries oppose so-called "unbundling" and have proposed a "third way" which would give networks more independence from the energy companies.

The spokesman said Merkel preferred this option to a full sale of the network that E.ON is now considering.