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Germany: Regulator probes Deutsche Bahn over mobility platforms

 |  November 28, 2019

The Bundeskartellamt has initiated an administrative proceeding against Deutsche Bahn AG. The proceeding concerns the sale of tickets of Deutsche Bahn AG via so-called mobility platforms. 

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt said, “Innovative, modern mobility concepts and the online sale of travel tickets naturally also rely on rail travel. Digital platforms via which travellers can book all means of transport to their destination from a single source will therefore be an important market in the future. These providers rely on Deutsche Bahn AG for information. According to the information currently available, mobility platforms do not, for example, receive real-time information about departures and delays. Deutsche Bahn AG is also said to set out extensive requirements for online marketing and granting rebates. We are following up these allegations and will examine whether Deutsche Bahn AG is unlawfully restricting the visibility and attractiveness of mobility platforms for consumers.”

Travellers can search travel information on mobility platforms either online or via apps, compare means of transport and book tickets. Some mobility platforms even offer to organise and book a complete voyage with different means of transport.

One question in the focus of the Bundeskartellamt’s investigation is whether Deutsche Bahn AG imposes restrictions on mobility platforms in respect of advertising in app stores, search engines and social networks.

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