EU fines Lithuania railway operator over competition breach

MarketsAssociated Press

European Union antitrust regulators have fined Lithuania's state-owned railways almost 28 million euros ($33 million) for breaching the bloc's competition rules.

The European Commission, which policies competition, said Monday that Lithuanian Railways had broken the rules by dismantling a section of track linking Lithuania to neighboring Latvia.

Continue Reading Below

The move meant that a Polish oil company that had been considering moving its freight from Lithuania to Latvia with another rail operator was forced to use a much longer route to get there.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that "Lithuanian Railways used its control over the national rail infrastructure to penalize competitors in the rail transport sector."

She said "it is unacceptable and unprecedented that a company dismantles a public rail infrastructure to protect itself from competition."