The Slovak Supreme Court has confirmed the decision of the Antitrust Office to fine the freight rail company Železničná Spoločnosť Cargo Slovakia, according to a statement in the office’s website. The court's ruling ends a case that has been dragging on for almost six years, the SITA newswire wrote on Wednesday, March 21.
The Antitrust Office decided in July 2006 that the freight railway company Železničná Spoločnosť Bratislava and its legal successor Železničná Spoločnosť Cargo Slovakia abused its dominant position in 2004-2005, thus violating the law on protection of economic competition. The authority imposed a Sk75 million (€2.489 million) fine on the company.
The Antitrust Office argued that the conduct of Cargo forced cement maker Holcim (Slovensko) to terminate its cooperation with the shipping companies LTE Logistik and Transport Slovakia. Cargo withdrew from price-setting agreements it sealed with the two companies, which had been providing freight rail transport services to Holcim (Slovensko). "As a result of this, LTE was excluded from the relevant market of transporting bulk cement on the Rohožník-Devínska Nová Ves track, near the state border," the watchdog explained. Cargo took these steps because Holcim sealed a direct contract on the rail transport of bulk cement with its rival LTE. Previously, Cargo itself provided this service to Holcim through a forwarding company.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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