EU launches fare dumping probe against Czech state rail operator

By bne IntelliNews November 10, 2016

The European Commission announced on November 10 that it has launched a probe into longstanding claims that Czech state rail operator Ceske Drahy has used unfair pricing on major routes in a bid to shut out private competition.

The investigation will be welcomed by the two private companies seeking to compete with Ceske Drahy. Both Regiojet and Leo Express have long-running legal cases lodged claiming that the state incumbent has been dumping fares on the country's major route linking Prague with the industrial eastern city of Ostrava.

The commission said in a statement that it has concerns CD may have charged prices that are so low that it could not cover the costs of the service. That would be in violation of EU anti-trust rules.

"We need to take a close look at Ceske drahy's business practices to make sure they do not push out competitors to the detriment of passengers," said European Commissioner in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager in a statement.

Following a complaint, the commission carried out inspections at the premises of CD in April. The opening of proceedings "does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation", the statement reads, but does mean the commission will treat the case as a matter of priority.

Regiojet and Leo Express entered the market in 2011/12, after Brussels oversaw the liberalisation of EU railways. Ceske Drahy was previously the only operator in the Czech Republic. Leo Express founder Leos Novotny claimed to bne IntelliNews last year that his company has faced obstruction and threats from Ceske Drahy ever since its launch.

Related Articles

Tension cools as EU approves Czech renewables support

The European Commission approved on November 28 the Czech Republic’s support scheme for renewable energy projects. The move should put several years of recurring uncertainty over the state payments ... more

Czech-Polish gas link Stork II misses EU funding deadline

The Stork II gas pipeline, a priority EU project linking Poland and the Czech Republic, faces prolonged challenges, reports claimed on November 25. The interconnector between the two countries ... more

Czech National Bank clouds message on potential effect of further ECB easing on koruna cap

The Czech National Bank cares more about inflation than the monetary policy of the European Central Bank, as it mulls its options on removing the cap on the koruna, the governor of the CNB ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or 12 months full access inc. Magazine and Weekly Newspaper for just $119/year.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

Thank you for purchasing a bne IntelliNews subscription. We look forward to serving you as one of our paid subscribers. An email confirmation will be sent to the email address you have provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. The confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss