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Omio Applauds European Union’s Decision to Increase Competition in Spanish Rail Ticketing

Renfe in Spain

Commitments from Spanish rail operator Renfe to allow fair competition made legally binding under EU antitrust laws

Omio, a leading multimodal travel platform, welcomes Wednesday’s announcement by the European Commission to make commitments from Renfe, the Spanish rail operator, legally binding. This decision, made under EU antitrust rules, fosters increased competition in Spain’s market for online rail ticket distribution. 

Following the precedent set by the German Competition Authority’s decision against Deutsche Bahn, the Commission establishes once more that third-party ticketing platforms are direct competitors to the state-run rail operator’s own ticketing channels and should be granted fair competition opportunities. The Commission’s decision ensures that Renfe provides comprehensive content and real-time data to third-party ticketing platforms like Omio in order to ensure fair competition.

Renfe’s commitments are the latest in Spain’s efforts to bring more liberalization to the world’s second largest network of high speed railways. The commitments, now legally binding, include timely provision of content, control mechanisms for fair competition, and a commitment to high-quality IT services.

“We applaud the European Commission’s decision, as it paves the way for more competition in online rail ticketing services in Spain,” said Nuri Boraie, Director of Public Affairs for Omio. “We need a strong railroad now more than ever to achieve a more interconnected and sustainable European area; but under anticompetitive models, we risk losing disappointed rail travellers to other less sustainable modes, like private cars. We share the Commission’s commitment to breaking down monopolies in European rail, and look forward to continued collaboration with Renfe and the Commission to lower barriers to competition and strengthen Spain’s rail system.” 

Renfe’s commitments will be monitored for ten years, reinforcing ongoing compliance and effective enforcement.

Omio sees this decision as a positive step towards a more competitive and consumer-friendly rail travel landscape in Spain, in line with Omio’s mission to empower millions of travellers to find the trip they are looking for. By connecting more than 1000 transport providers in 37 countries, Omio brings together data on trains, planes, buses, and ferries with the goal of making travel more accessible and sustainable. Customers globally have bought more than 40 million tickets through the platform so far, making Omio the world’s leading multimodal travel company.