28 Million Euro Penalty from EU for Lithuanian Railways Dismantling the Railway

The EU Commission decided that Lithuanian Railways, which dismantled the railway infrastructure in the country, extend the routes in transportation and prevent competition, to pay a 28 million euro penalty.

The European Union (EU) Commission has completed the competition investigation initiated after the complaint against the Lithuanian Railways. The statement pointed out that it was determined that Lithuanian Railways had dismantled some of the railway infrastructure in the country to prevent other companies from using it, and it was noted that this behavior was an abuse of dominance in the market and did not comply with EU rules.

In the statement, it was noted that Lithuanian Railways was fined 28 million euros for their anti-competitive practices.

“Lithuanian Railways used their control over national infrastructure to punish their rivals in transport,” said Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner Responsible for Competition. The European Union needs a well-functioning rail transport market. "It is unprecedented and unacceptable for a company to dismantle public railway infrastructure to protect itself from competition," he said.

The state-owned Lithuanian Railways operates the country's railway infrastructure and trains. The Orlen oil refinery, near the country's border with Latvia, was looking for a route to send its products to Latvia at a shorter distance, using existing railways, and began negotiations with other train operators. In order to prevent this, the Lithuanian Railways dismantled the 19 kilometer rail network within the borders of the country and obliged the refinery to use a longer route. Orlende filed a complaint with the EU Commission in 2011.

The EU Commission has the authority to monitor whether there is an anti-competitive situation in the sectors of companies operating in the EU. The Commission imposes high fines on companies if it detects a situation contrary to competition laws in the investigation.

Source : the site www.hurriyet.com.tr



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