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European Commission - Statement

Antitrust: Commission confirms unannounced inspections in rail passenger transport sector

Brussels, 2 December 2015

The European Commission can confirm that on 24 November 2015 its officials carried out unannounced inspections in the sector of rail passenger transport and related services in Austria.

The Commission has concerns that the companies concerned may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices and/or abuse of a dominant market position (Articles 101 and 102 respectively of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). The Commission's investigation relates to alleged anti-competitive practices aimed at excluding competing rail passenger transport operators from the market.

The Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the Austrian competition authority.

Unannounced inspections are a preliminary step into suspected anti-competitive practices. The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself. The Commission respects the rights of defence, in particular the right of parties to be heard in antitrust proceedings.

There is no legal deadline to inquiries into anticompetitive conduct. Their duration depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of each case, the extent to which the companies concerned co-operate and the exercise of the rights of defence.

STATEMENT/15/6222

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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