EU antitrust regulator accepts Renfe’s remedies to address dominant position in Spain

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission on Wednesday accepted remedies offered by Spain’s Renfe to address concerns it could have abused its dominant market position, saying the train operator will now grant competing ticketing platforms access to its data by the end of February.

Renfe, the Spanish state-owned rail operator, has been under investigation by the Commission since April 2023, centred on Renfe’s refusal to provide rival ticketing platforms with comprehensive information and real-time data on its trains.

The Commission expressed preliminary concerns that Renfe’s refusal might have hindered the ability of third-party ticketing platforms to compete effectively with Renfe’s online distribution channels.

In order to address these concerns, Renfe has made a series of commitments, which the EU watchdog said it had accepted.

The company has agreed to make available all its current and future content and real-time data to third-party ticketing platforms by 29 February 2024, with a few limited exceptions.

This concerns ‘all the current and future content and real-time data displayed on any of its own online channels’, the Commission said in a statement.

Furthermore, Renfe will enforce a so-called Look-to-Book ratio, balancing the operational needs of its sales system with the competitiveness of rival platforms.

These commitments will remain in force indefinitely, with a monitoring trustee appointed by Renfe overseeing their implementation and reporting to the Commission for ten years.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)