A PYMNTS Company

Spain: CNMC rejects transport re-merger; calls it “a step backwards”

 |  September 18, 2017

Spain’s National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) has rejected the plan presented by the Ministry of Public Works to re-merge railway operator Renfe with infrastructure manager Adif. The companies were split when the sector was reshuffled in order to adapt to the European directive that promotes the liberalization of transport. The CNMC considered the plan to be a “step backwards” and would hinder the next stage of liberalization of passenger rail transport.

With the proposed merger of Renfe and Adif, the Ministry aims to create a “strong and competitive” railway holding in the face of an upcoming opening of EU rail passenger transport to competition. “Spain has to be strong and with a solid project in the face of liberalization of the sector, where we have big competitors, because Germany and France already have solid rail holdings,” said the Minister of Public Works, Iñigo de la Serna.

Behind the plans is also the need to finance the costs of the manager with those of Renfe, as Adif closed 2016 with losses of €328 million. (US$392 million). The rejection by the CNMC does not imply that the merger of Renfe and Adif will not take place, since the decision falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry and does not require authorization from competition authorities.

Full Content: Ok Diario

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