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EU Probes Spanish-Owned Renfe, Over Rail Ticketing

 |  April 30, 2023

The European Commission is conducting a formal investigation to evaluate whether Renfe has engaged in anti-competitive behavior in the Spanish passenger rail transport market by denying rival ticketing platforms access to its content and real-time data.

Renfe is the state-owned rail operator in Spain. Customers can purchase tickets through various means, including Renfe’s direct websites and apps or third-party ticketing platforms that offer online ticketing services.

Related: Spain: Arriva will be allowed to compete with Renfe: CNMC

The Commission has expressed concerns that Renfe may have limited competition in the Spanish market for online rail ticketing services by denying third-party platforms access to complete information about its tickets, discounts, and features, as well as real-time data related to passenger rail transport services.

Renfe provides its content and real-time data on its own websites and apps, but has not allowed direct access to third-party ticketing platforms. These platforms display offers from multiple rail carriers and require access to Renfe’s complete content and real-time data to customize their offers for customers.

The Commission has expressed concern that Renfe’s refusal to supply content and real-time data could hinder platforms from competing with Renfe’s direct digital channels, which could negatively impact consumers.