November 22, 2012 / 8:19 AM / 7 years ago

EU to push for break-up of rail companies by 2023 - paper

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Union’s Transport Commissioner wants rail companies to separate their passenger and freight train business from their railway network management activities by 2023 to make it easier for new entrants to compete, a German newspaper reported.

“Without separation, a further opening of the markets will not really create more competition,” Financial Times Deutschland quoted Siim Kallas as saying in an interview published on Thursday.

Under the proposal, which the paper said Kallas aimed to present in December, integrated companies such as Germany’s state-owned Deutsche Bahn DBN.UL would be forced to implement “Chinese walls” between rail operations and their rail networks until full separation.

The flow of funds between the operations and the network business would also be restricted, it said.

Kallas has said previously that it was difficult for new market players to compete in a rail market where established, state-owned companies could use government funds to cross-subsidise their businesses.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan. Editing by Jane Merriman

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