Electricité de France – usually known by its initials, ‘EDF’ – is, in Anglo-Saxon terms, a public corporation, incorporated by law on 8 April 1946, having the task of undertaking the generation, bulk transmission, and distribution of electricity for the whole of Metropolitan France. It is, but only de facto and not de jure, a monopoly controlling 85 per cent of French electricity output, 100 per cent of transmission, and 96 per cent of distribution. The absence of a complete monopoly is due to some self-generation of electricity by industry, 1 to the exemption of low capacity producers (i.e. those producing under 8,000 KVA or 12,000 Kwh per year) as well as small local distributors (the régies communales), and to history (the existence, for example, of the Compagnie nationale du Rhone). 2 EDF thus ranks as one of the largest electricity enterprises in the world, similar to the electricity organisation in the United Kingdom. EDF is not merely an outstanding electricity undertaking, it is also a representative French public enterprise. In the mixed economy of the European Community and of France in particular, such enterprises have a special function, namely, the fulfilment of missions of general economic interest, such as helping the State and other public authorities to achieve full employment, raise living standards, promote regional development, and so forth.