Germany's Federal Cartel Office has brought charges against Deutsche Bahn for allegedly abusing its powerful market position. Competitors have said that the national rail operator has undermined their ticket sales.
The Bonn-based anti-trust authority announced its decision to investigate Deutsche Bahn, Germany's national rail operator, on January 30 amid complaints from its competitors.
"When its comes to ticket sales, functional competition is essential for competition on the railways," Federal Cartel Office President Andreas Mundt said.
According to Deutsche Bahn's competitors who filed the complaints, the railway operator has prevented them from selling tickets at train stations. The German anti-trust authority said it would also be scrutinizing the operator's practice of selling for other railway companies.
Allegations of unfair commission rates for ticket distribution at Deutsche Bahn have also cropped up.
"Competitors have complained that they have limited access at best to the Deutsche Bahn's distribution channels," Mundt added.
The Federal Cartel Office did not provide further details about which railway operators had filed the complaints.
Deutsche Bahn transported nearly one billion passengers last year, despite recording a drop in sales of roughly 30 percent during the first half of 2013.
kms/pfd (AFP, Reuters, dpa)