The Netherlands rail incumbent, NS, has been fined Euro 40m by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) for abuse of dominant position in the regional tendering process. ACM found that NS has submitted a lossmaking bid in order to shut out competition on the regional tendering process. The other bidders were not able to compete on the same basis as Abellio, who won contracts. NS is also accused to have obstructed the access to service facilities at train stations for its competitors (slow answers, incomplete information provided). That is why we particularly support the European Commission’s implementing act on service facilities: it will provide more transparency in the rail facility market and oblige service facilities owned by the incumbent to be more open. Link to the decision is here: https://www.acm.nl/en/publications/publication/17397/Dutch-Railways-NS-abused-its-dominant-position-in-regional-tender-process/
Germany has been condemned by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for failing to separate financial accounts within DB AG, between infrastructure activities and trains operations. The lack of separation in the financial accounts creates a significant risk that money for infrastructures, including track access charges and public funds, can be used to cross-subsidise the holding’s passenger and freight operations. This results in significant competitive distortions for other rail companies. The ECJ sent a strong signal in favour of separation of holding structures.