The choice to liberalise and privatise Italy's energy supply industry is aimed at modernising the country. However, the way its implementation has taken place might produce a further weakening of the whole national industry. The notion that in an energy market as large as Europe competition would lead to a great number of strongly competing small and medium-size companies is being refuted by facts. There is, in fact, a growing strengthening of oligopolistic structures with few dominating companies. In this context, with the final handing over of all public stakes in its two largest energy companies, the Italian State will be closing both - and yet extraordinary - experiences with ENI and Enel. The course taken in transferring these large pieces of public ownership, combined with the aftermath of liberalisation, shall crucially affect not only the perspectives of these companies, but also the future of the whole national system.