EU General Court: Lithuanian Railways Abused Its Dominance

Lithuanian Rail on Wednesday, November 18, had its €27.9 million (US$33 million) EU antitrust fine cut by a third, though Europe’s second-top court backed EU enforcers’ ruling that it had hindered competition by removing a track running to Latvia.

The European Commission in its 2017 decision stated that it was unacceptable that the operator removed the 19-kilometer (12 mile) stretch of track in 2008 after Polish oil company PKN Orlen wanted to redirect its freight to Latvian ports from its refinery in Lithuania by using another rail operator and a short route to the border.

Lithuanian Rail subsequently challenged the ruling at the Luxembourg-based General Court. Judges took the EU competition enforcer’s side.

“The Commission made no error in determining that removal of a railway track before the renovation works had even begun constituted highly unusual conduct in the rail sector,” the court ruled.

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