EC Approves Germany’s Deutsche Bahn Bailout

The European Commission announced that Berlin’s allocation of approximately €550 million (US$644 million) to compensate Deutsche Bahn (German Railway) for damages suffered by its subsidiary DB Fernverkehr during the COVID-19 pandemic was in line with EU rules.

“The European Commission has found a 550 million German support measure in favor of Deutsche Bahn AG (“Deutsche Bahn”) to be in line with EU State aid rules,” the Commission said in a statement.

The measure, which will take the form of equity injection, would compensate Deutsche Bahn for damages sustained by its subsidiary DB Fernverkehr due to pandemic restrictions between March 16 and June 7, 2020 for domestic travel and March 16 to June 30, 2020 for international travel.

Vice President of the commission Margrethe Vestager expressed the commitment of the bloc to help member States rescue sectors of their economies hit by the pandemic.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded, many countries have adopted severe restrictions to stop the virus from spreading, undermining their economies in the process and sparking a need for additional measures to facilitate economic restoration.

DB Fernverkehr is a German rail services operator that provides national and international long-distance train services. Due to the steps Germany and other Member States have implemented to contain the virus, DB Fernverkehr, like other rail operators, has seen a considerable reduction in the number of long-distance train passengers.

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.