Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during a campaign visit to York England, Tuesday, May 9, 2017. (Danny Lawson/PA via AP)
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British Prime Minister Theresa May pledged Tuesday to cap household energy prices if she is re-elected on June 8, sending stocks tumbling with the biggest market intervention since the sector was privatized almost 30 years ago.The British market is dominated by six big providers -- Centrica, SSE, Scottish Power, Npower, E.ON and EDF Energy -- which account for about 85 percent of the retail electricity market.The number of consumers switching suppliers rose to a record high last year and the big six providers held 99 percent of the market just five years ago, showing competition is improving.But an investigation by the competition watchdog in 2016 said households had overpaid 1.4 billion pounds a year in the previous three years due to uncompetitive standard tariffs.Centrica Chief Executive Iain Conn said last month the plan suggested some in May's government did not believe in free markets.
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