Renfe ha acordado con la Unión Europea proporcionar datos actualizados a los canales de venta de boletos en tiempo real.

Brussels has closed the investigation it opened against Renfe for abuse of dominant position and therefore anticompetitive practices without imposing any sanctions. This decision comes because the European Commission has accepted the concessions proposed by the Spanish public company to mitigate the competition obstacles detected during the preliminary investigations, as communicated by the European Executive on Wednesday. Now, these commitments offered by the railway company have become a legal obligation that the company must fulfill to avoid punishment.

The argument with which the powerful Competition department opened the investigation in April was that Renfe “could have abused its dominant position in the Spanish passenger railway transport market by refusing to provide [information] to competing ticket sales platforms”. For the Commission, this behavior could prevent rivals of the public company from competing and thus harming consumers. This, in the jargon of markets and competition, is called abuse of dominant position.

Renfe’s reaction to the investigation was to offer commitments that would solve this situation so that the case would not progress further. This was done during the past summer and then the Commission consulted with the “interested third parties” if these remedies “would clear the competition reservations”.

Finally, Renfe has committed to providing real-time information to third-party ticket sales platforms now and in the future. This must be done “at the latest” on February 29 of this year. “The commitments offered by Renfe will remain in effect indefinitely. Their compliance will be monitored by a monitoring trustee appointed by Renfe, who will report to the Commission for a period of ten years,” the Commission points out.

“The announcement made today by the European Commission is a great victory for train users. By setting a new precedent in terms of equal access for independent ticket distributors in Europe, Brussels’ commitment to creating fair competition conditions is clear. Access to the same data, fares, services, and content, as offered by operators, will provide users with greater choice, and put more innovation and value in their hands,” valued Trainline, the digital platform for train and bus ticket sales.

He is a correspondent in Brussels. He has developed almost his entire career in the Economy section of EL PAÍS, where he has been in charge of following the Spanish labor market, the pension system, and social dialogue between 2008 and 2021. He holds a degree in History from the Universitat de València, and in 2006 he completed the journalism master’s program UAM/EL PAÍS.

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