Deutsche Bahn set to acquire EWS

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The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of English Welsh & Scottish Railway by Deutsche Bahn. The decision is conditional upon the commitment of DB to fulfil EWS’s expansion plans and to provide non-discriminatory access to certain EWS training activities and maintenance facilities in France.
In light of this commitment, the Commission has concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it.
DB is the state-owned German railway company while EWS is the successor of the freight business British Rail.
Despite the lack of overlap in the parties’ rail freight transport activities in any geographic market, the Commission had concerns that the proposed transaction, as initially notified, would result in France in a possible weakening of the competitive constraint exercised by EWS, a new entrant in this market. This concern was on the basis that DB may not have the same incentives to pursue the rail freight transport business in France with the same intensity as EWS would in the absence of the merger.

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