The Commission invites comments from interested parties on the commitments offered by the German railway incumbent Deutsche Bahn AG (“DB”) to address the Commission’s concerns that the pricing system of DB’s subsidiary Deutsche Bahn Energie GmbH (“DB Energie”) may violate Article 102 of the TFEU, in particular as regards discounts that only railway companies of the DB Group can fully achieve. DB Energie is the only traction current supplier in Germany. Traction current is electricity used to power locomotives. The Commission is particularly concerned that the pricing of traction current applied by DB Energie may have created a margin squeeze on the long distance passenger rail transport and rail freight markets in Germany. To address the Commission’s concerns DB offered for a period of five years starting from 2014 (i) to introduce a new pricing system for traction current with separate prices for electricity and for access to the traction current grid, (ii) to apply a single price for electricity without volume or duration-based discounts to all railway companies, (iii) to pay non-DB railway companies a one-time retroactive refund of 4 % of their latest annual traction current invoice and (iv) to provide the Commission with the necessary data to assess if the price levels charged by DB under the new pricing system would lead to a margin squeeze. If the result of the Commission’s market test of the proposed commitments is positive, the Commission may adopt a decision making the commitments binding on DB. Source: Commission Press Release 15/08/2013
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Commission market tests commitments proposed by Deutsche Bahn
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