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State Railway Stifled Competition for Rail Freight

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The European Commission has fined state-owned rail firm Lithuanian Railways a total of €27,873,000 for hindering competition in the rail freight market. The company physically removed a rail track connecting Lithuania to neighbouring Latvia. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy summed up, saying:

“Lithuanian Railways used its control over the national rail infrastructure to penalise competitors in the rail transport sector. The European Union needs a well-functioning rail freight market.’

In 2008 a subsidiary of Polish oil company PKN Orlen and a major commercial customer of Lithuanian Railways, considered redirecting its freight from Lithuania to Latvia by using the services of another rail operator.

The Commission’s investigation found that these actions hindered competition on the rail freight market.