The German government plans to allow energy providers to raise prices next year only if objectively justified, the economy ministry said on Saturday, denying a media report that Berlin was planning a ban of all increases in energy prices to consumers.

“Not all price increases are automatically illegal,” an Economy Ministry spokesman said, but added that the ban would apply to unjustified price increases that exploit consumers.

The Bild newspaper reported that the government wants to ban all electricity and gas providers from raising prices next year.

Power providers in Germany would have to show that planned price increases are justified, for example, if they face rising acquisition costs, the ministry added.

Last month, the Council of Ministers approved a cap on gas and electricity prices in an accelerated process, as part of efforts to deal with rising energy bills for households and businesses.

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