The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed joint venture for the provision of international rail passenger transport services between the Italian incumbent rail operator Trenitalia, part of the Ferrovie dello Stato group, and the private French rail and bus operator Veolia Transport.
The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because Veolia Transport is a newcomer to the markets concerned.
The Commission’s examination of the proposed transaction showed that the transaction does not give rise to competition concerns, in particular because Trenitalia and Veolia Transport are not active on the same markets.
It also assessed the vertical links resulting from the fact that Ferrovie dello Stato provides access to railway infrastructure through Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, the infrastructure manager which it controls, and traction services (i.e. provision of locomotives and drivers for conventional trains) through Trenitalia.
On the Paris-Rome, Paris-Venice, and Paris-Milan routes the Commission examined whether the transaction would increase Ferrovie dello Stato’s ability and incentive to foreclose competitors from access to rail infrastructure. The Commission concluded that this was not the case. On the Paris-Milan route, the Commission also considered it likely that two competing high speed services will be operated in the future (by SNCF and by the newly created Trenitalia/Veolia Transport joint venture).
Moreover, for traction services for which certain national requirements still apply in Italy (like technical standards for locomotives, certification for the crew), the market investigation confirmed that sufficient alternative service providers would be available after the transaction.
The Commission therefore concluded that the proposed joint venture, notified for clearance on 16 June 2011, would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
Trenitalia provides long distance and local passenger and freight rail transport services. It is part of the Ferrovie dello Stato group.
Veolia Transport provides public passenger transport services and manages urban, inter-city (department and regional level), and national transportation networks for all types of vehicles.
The joint venture will provide international rail passenger transport services and will bid for tenders in relation to passenger rail services franchises or concessions in the UK.