The Bundeskartellamt (German Federal Cartel Office) has determined once again that German rail producers have been on the wrong side of the tracks & spent too much time in a bad neighbourhood, so to speak.
This time around, the eight players in the rail business were fined for a separate, but related, heavy-industry cartel that was targeted at short-haul local/communal German rail customers.
In the first round of the massive investigation — initiated by the leniency application of cartelist Voestalpine — the target had been the federal Deutsche Bahn. In that case, the FCO imposed total fines of EUR 134.5 million against 4 participants in the illegal agreements.
What’s the total FCO cost of this train ticket? Almost 1/4 billion Euros, if you include both cartels. And that’s just the BKartA fines. Let’s see where the private damages litigation will head, with Deutsche Bahn leading the pack in all likelihood.