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ACM: regulation provides opportunities for the mobility services market


The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) sees benefits arising from stronger economic regulation of the market for mobility services. Regulation would help create equal opportunities for providers. This will stimulate the development of innovative mobility services for travelers. These are some of ACM’s conclusions in today’s released recommendations for the State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management.

Henk Don, acting chairman of the Board of ACM, adds: “If the State Secretary wants to make it easier for new providers to offer mobility services, then regulation could safeguard equal access for all providers to the national public-transport card system and the transport services. Regulation also has drawbacks, however. It is up to lawmakers and the government to decide whether the benefits outweigh the costs.”

The market for mobility services

Providers of mobility services combine different types of public transport such as train, bus, underground, and bicycle-sharing services, together with thereto-related services, such as administrative management services for their customers. Currently, various initiatives are being developed under the name of Mobility as a Service (MaaS). These initiatives allow passengers to plan, book, and pay for door-to-door journeys on a single digital platform. Companies that want to provide such mobility services are dependent on the national public-transport card system operated by Trans Link Systems B.V. (TLS), as well as on public-transport services and on information of public-transport companies. In its recommendations, ACM concludes that there is a risk that providers of mobility services do not get access to everything they need to introduce a competitive product on the market.

Quick Scan 2013

In the 2013 Quick Scan on Passenger Transport, ACM identified  a number of anticompetitive concerns associated with TLS's dominant position in the market for national transport tickets. Following the change in the shareholder structure of TLS on 31 December 2015, the situation of unequal control that the transport companies had on TLS' activities came to an end. ACM's recommendations conclude that this is an improvement over the previous situation.


As a result of the consultation held earlier this year, ACM received 9 reactions. A number of these reactions has resulted in changes to the recommendations regarding the improved opportunities for access. However, the key points of ACM's recommendations have remained unchanged.