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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

European Commission pursues action over removal of rail link between Lithuania and Latvia

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The European Commission has issued a Statement of Objections to Lithuanian Railways (LG) over concerns that it has restricted competition by dismantling a railway linking Lithuania and Latvia.

In 2008, the operator stopped services between Lithuania and Latvia. The following month it demolished the track.

The European Commission began formal antitrust proceedings in March 2013 and has now submitted a Statement of Objections – the next step in the organisation’s investigation.

In a statement, the European Commission said: “The Commission is concerned that these actions could have limited competition on the rail markets in Lithuania and in Latvia, in particular by obstructing the plans of a major customer of LG from redirecting its railway freight to Latvia using the services of other rail operators.”

The Commission said it believes there is “sufficient evidence of an infringement” and said it could “issue a decision prohibiting the conduct” and potentially impose a fine of up to 10 per cent of LG’s turnover.

LG has denied the allegations. The company has the opportunity to respond to the Commission’s claims and request an oral hearing.

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