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Which Access to Which Assets for an Effective Liberalization of the Railway Sector?

Patrice Bougette (), Axel Gautier () and Frédéric Marty ()

No 2019-38, GREDEG Working Papers from Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France

Abstract: In the European rail industry, the market liberalization limited to the opening of the essential facilities (the train path) to new entrants is not enough to enable competition. For an efficient and effective entry, temporary access to quasi-essential complementary assets like rolling stock, mechanical maintenance workshops, data, schedules, etc. is also required. Like in all network industries, the deregulation process faces anticompetitive practices undertaken by the incumbents or may be thwarted by their market power. Several observed anticompetitive practices involve distorted access to these quasi-essential facilities. Therefore, competition agencies must deal with litigation between the incumbent and new entrants. Most cases have been settled, resulting in commitments from the incumbent. We argue that such transitory and case-by-case remedies fail to produce favorable conditions for a secure and efficient entry. Thus, we propose to systematize such remedies through asymmetric and enduring ex-ante regulation.

Keywords: rail; liberalization; essential facility; anticompetitive practices; asymmetric regulation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K21 L51 L92 L98 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 33 pages
Date: 2019-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com, nep-law, nep-reg and nep-tre
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