Spain: Ouigo accused of unfair competition by the Minister of Transport

Spain: Ouigo accused of unfair competition by the Minister of Transport


He denounces “profoundly unfair practices”. Spanish Transport Minister Óscar Puente severely criticized the low-cost subsidiary of SNCF on Monday Ouigoaccusing it of selling at a loss to increase its market share in passenger transport at the expense of the Spanish national company Renfe.

In an interview on radio Onda Cero, Óscar Puente, a socialist, criticized Ouigo for selling tickets “far below” their cost for high-speed trains, calling them “deeply unfair” practices. The left-wing government of Pedro Sánchez, he said, is studying the possibility of denouncing Ouigo before the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC).

While indicating that liberalization of the rail market had brought “positive things”, in particular by leading to a drop in prices, he estimated that it had “reduced them to a level which was not tenable” for the companies which compete for the market, namely Renfe (which also has a low-cost subsidiary, Avlo), Ouigo and Iryo, a subsidiary of the Italian public company Trenitalia. “Competition must be fair and must allow the three companies to make profits or, at the very least, not to suffer losses,” continued the minister.

Prices down 40%

In an article published Monday under the title “Open war between the Ministry of Transport and Ouigo because of the continued drop in prices”, the Catalan daily La Vanguardia points out, citing a CNMV report on high-speed trains, that this three-way fight has caused prices to fall by 40% compared to when Renfe still had a monopoly, three years ago.

According to the Barcelona daily (north-east), the Spanish government considers that the pricing policy practiced by Ouigo would not be possible without the agreement of the French authorities, since SNCF is a public company. Ouigo has been present in Spain since May 2022.


Source link