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Open Competition or Discrimination on Tracks? Examples of Anti-Competitive Behaviour of The Deutsche Bahn



The article provides an analysis of a competitive situation in railway transport in Germany and defines areas where the Deutsche Bahn holding, which integrates both infrastructure operators and carriers, may behave in an anti-competitive way. First of all, conditions of liberalisation in German railways and position of competition in partial sections of transport are introduced. Subsequently, areas which are - from the economic point of view - necessary for operation of competition in the railway sector are identified: it is the height of fees charged for utilisation of transport routes, fees for the use of railway stations, and finally, traction energy fees, too.

On the basis of research into development in the last two decades, steps which are possible to consider to be (minimally) concealed anti-competitive behaviour of the Deutsche Bahn, was were revealed in all areas. This is substantiated by decisions of several decisive regulatory authorities, most predominantly of Bundesnetzagentur and courts, which have repeatedly ordered Deutsche Bahn to revise price lists and other terms.

In consequence, the example of Deutsche Bahn demonstrated a great disadvantage of an integrated company including infrastructure administrator and carrier, as it is offered a great space for influencing competitive environment. In the German example, this often comprised in raising competitor´s costs which, however, do not manifest themselves in economic results of the holding company. Should transport policies of the state decide to separate the infrastructure administrator and the carrier, a great deal of hard-to-reveal and thus punishable “complications” preventing establishment of conditions of free competition on the railway market shall cease to exist.

Frequenza di pubblicazione:
4 volte all'anno
Argomenti della rivista:
Business and Economics, Political Economics, Economic Theory, Systems and Structures