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EU Seeks Comments On Renfe Over Possible Anticompetitive Practices In Ticket Prices In Spain

 |  June 26, 2023

The European Commission is seeking feedback on the commitments Renfe has proposed to resolve competition concerns related to its alleged denial of full content and real-time data to competing ticketing platforms in the Spanish online passenger rail ticket distribution market.

The investigation conducted by the Commission.

Renfe is a rail operator owned by the Spanish government. Tickets can be purchased offline or online through Renfe’s websites, apps, and mobility platform, or through third-party ticketing platforms. Renfe competes with online travel agencies that offer ticketing services and require access to Renfe’s real-time data to customize their offers.

On 28 April 2023, the Commission initiated a formal investigation into Renfe’s potential anticompetitive behavior in the Spanish online rail ticketing market. The investigation centers around Renfe’s alleged refusal to provide third-party ticketing platforms with complete information on its range of tickets, discounts, and features, as well as real-time data on its passenger rail transport services.

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The Commission’s preliminary investigation revealed that Renfe holds a dominant position in the Spanish markets for passenger rail transport services and online distribution of passenger rail tickets through its website, apps, and mobility platform known as dōcō.

The Commission’s preliminary assessment indicates that Renfe may have violated Article 102 of the TFEU by denying third-party ticketing platforms access to its full content and real-time data displayed on its digital channels. This denial may have impacted their ability to develop their own products, innovate, and compete effectively in the online distribution of rail tickets for passengers.

Renfe has proposed commitments to resolve the Commission’s competition concerns. These commitments include granting third-party ticketing platforms access to all current and future content and real-time data displayed on Renfe’s online channels. This commitment by Renfe is not static and includes content and data beyond what is currently available on their own online channels.