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NMa approves joint venture of public transport companies Veolia Transport and Transdev/Connexxion

10-12-2010

The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has given the green light to public transport companies Veolia Transport and Transdev/Connexxion to merge their public transport services (bus, train and taxi) into a joint venture. Having carried out a thorough investigation, the NMa has come to the conclusion that enough competition will remain on the Dutch market.

Veolia Transport (through its subsidiary Veolia Transport Netherlands) and Transdev (through its subsidiary Connexxion) offer public transport services in numerous regions in the Netherlands. In addition, both companies also offer taxi services, for example for students and disabled people. After a first analysis, the NMa raised objections against the joint venture of these two companies, fearing it would become too powerful on the Dutch market. Such a position could lead to higher tariffs or less quality of public transport services, which would leave consumers worse off. The NMa has therefore carried out a second, more extensive investigation. It appears that enough competition will remain in the market, ensuring that tenders for bus and train services will continue to be competitive. These conclusions are, among other things, based on past bidding behavior of these transport companies, and on how expected behavior of competitors is taken into account when preparing a bid. Their main competitors are Arriva, Syntus and Qbuzz. The NMa has additionally come to the conclusion that enough competition will remain in the market for taxi services.

The French competition authority is investigating the effects of the joint venture on the French market.