Spain’s state-owned national rail provider Renfe has come to an agreement with the European Commission to open up ticketing competition by sharing more information with ticket sellers than ever before. 

The Brussels Commission began an investigation into Renfe’s ticketing information practices in April 2023 under its market competition rules. 

But new commitments from the Spanish rail operator have assuaged the concerns, promising to provide full ticketing “content” and real-time data to third-party rivals. 

The 2023 complaint explained the action by Renfe that could have been to the detriment of customers: “Renfe may have abused its dominant position in the Spanish passenger rail transport market by refusing to provide rival ticketing platforms with: (i) full content concerning its range of tickets, discounts and features; and (ii) real-time data (pre-journey, on-journey or post-journey) related to its passenger rail transport services.”

The new measures to ensure data and ticketing options are shared with the ticketing platforms have been agreed with the Commission and the platforms.

The Commission has made the new agreement legally binding for Renfe, and a “monitoring trustee” will be appointed to report to the Commission for the next decade.

“[The] decision opens up competition in online rail ticketing services in Spain,” said Margrethe Vestager, Commission executive vice-president in charge of competition policy. 

“From now on, independent ticketing platforms will have access to all the information necessary to innovate and compete effectively with Renfe’s online distribution channels. This is crucial for more affordable rail services and promoting environmentally-friendly means of transport.” 

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By GlobalData

EU anti-trust legislation states that if Renfe does not honour its commitments, it can be fined up to 10% of its annual worldwide turnover.