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Antitrust Office slaps state railway firm Cargo with €10 million fine

The state-owned Cargo Slovakia railway company received a fine of €10.25 million from the Antitrust Office (PMÚ) for limiting the sales and hiring of electricity-driven locomotives and re-fuelling of diesel locomotives and its fuel stations.

The state-owned Cargo Slovakia railway company received a fine of €10.25 million from the Antitrust Office (PMÚ) for limiting the sales and hiring of electricity-driven locomotives and re-fuelling of diesel locomotives and its fuel stations.

“Cargo does not agree with the findings of the Slovak PMÚ,” company spokesperson Martin Halanda told the SITA newswire. “Our company will use all the legal remedial means to overturn this decision.”

Cargo competitors and private transport operators need either electric or diesel-powered locomotives, while the former are more efficient. “The electricity-driven locomotives which can be operated in Slovak conditions are usually owned only by Cargo, the dominant company, which however didn’t want to sell or hire them to its competitors,” PMÚ spokesperson Alena Sedláková said for SITA.

“Thus, private haulers used instead the less effective diesel locomotives.” Moreover, the state hauler did not enable its competitors to refuel the diesel locomotives. “The behaviour of the dominant company increased the costs of competitors – thus the fine imposed by the office. The other haulers failed to effectively render their services and assert themselves on the market more decisively, grow and compete with the dominant company,” Sedláková concluded as quoted by SITA.

The Sme daily reminded in its September 3 issue that the fine comes at a time when Cargo wants to get rid of its debt amounting to half a billion euros through a recovery programme. Cargo claims, according to the daily, that it has done nothing wrong and it will defend itself with all legal means. Thus, the PMÚ can expect an appeal from Cargo.

(Source: SITA, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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