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Germany

EU Commission orders Deutsche Bahn office raid in antitrust probe

Germany's rail operator Deutsche Bahn is under suspicion from the European Commission of abusing its dominant market position and breaking EU antitrust laws. The Commission has ordered a raid of DB's offices.

Deutsche Bahn under the magnifying glass

The EU Commission has stressed it has no proof DB has breached laws

The European Commission confirmed Thursday that Germany's national rail operator, Deutsche Bahn (DB), was under investigation for suspected breach of European antitrust laws.

The Commission ordered "unannounced inspections at the premises of Deutsche Bahn and some of its subsidiaries" on Tuesday in cooperation with German antitrust authorities, the EU's executive body said in a statement.

"The Commission has reason to believe that Deutsche Bahn may have breached EU antitrust rules that prohibit the abuse of a dominant market position," the Commission said, confirming German press reports.

Concerns arose after the Commission received complaints that Deutsche Bahn Energie - the company's subsidiary supplying electricity to the German railway network - had been "giving preferential treatment to the group's rail freight arm."

This included accusations that DB had inflated the electricity prices for competitors.

The Commission stressed, however, that its investigation was still in the preliminary stages and that it had no concrete proof that DB had violated EU law.

A spokesman for DB told the news agency AP on Wednesday that the company was cooperating with the competition regulators.

Author: Darren Mara (AP, AFP, dpa)
Editor: Rob Turner

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