Summary - TST 14


TST 14

Timo Myllyntaus
Foreign investments in Finnish electricity supply utilities, 1884-1936

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Key words: Electrification; municipalisation; economic nationalism; foreign investments; multinational companies.

[ Abstract ]

Finland was a country where the trend to municipalise urban electricity supply utilities was very strong from the late 19th century to World War II. The penetration of big German electro-technical companies, such as the AEG and Siemens & Halske, into the Finnish electricity supply business was against the tide of the time. By means of case studies, the article examines reasons, why the AEG was more successful than other transnational companies in taking over electricity supply utilities in Finland. Technically the electricity supply systems delivered by the AEG were applicable and up-to-date but they faced increasing resistance in Finland even before World War I. Main arguments against the AEG and other private electricity supply utilities included that they charged higher rates and were reluctant to expand their networks to suburbs of cities. The result was that all utilities operated by the AEG as well as other foreign electro-technical companies were municipalised in the interwar period.