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SNCF gets green light for Eurostar takeover

On Wednesday the European Commission approved the French rail operator SNCF’s takeover Eurostar however said it must allow new rivals to use its blue-ribbon routes.

It was feared the original deal would have limited the competitors’ access to rail stations in Belgium and France as well as maintenance depots in France, Belgium and Britain.

Brussels stated it would have to change the terms of a deal which could have hindered the entry of competitors on the London-Paris and London-Brussels service lines.

The EU has approved the merger which involves the acquisition of Eurostar International Limited by the French rail operator SNCF MOBILITES.

The decision is conditional on compliance with commitments that will help facilitate the entry of new rail operators onto the London-Brussels and London-Paris routes.

The EU’s executive arm also regulates competition issues and further said the original deal would have the effect of perpetuating Eurostar’s dominant position on these markets.

When the organization was created in 2010, Eurostar was jointly controlled by SNCF and the British government, and operated primarily by the French.

When England announced on March 4 that it was selling its holding to a private enterprise, SNCF negotiated a package that would allow it to gain control over Eurostar.

Photo by Loco Steve

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