Sector Report on German railway markets pursuant to Sec. 78 of the Railway Regulation Act, July 4, 2023

  • The planned restructuring of the Deutsche Bahn (DB) Group offers opportunities for competition in the railway sector. To this end, the new infrastructure unit InfraGo should be economically and organizationally independent.
  • A prerequisite for stimulating competition and increasing the attractiveness of rail is higher infrastructure quality. The Monopolies Commission, therefore, recommends a new qualityoriented regulatory framework for charges.
  • Innovative sales service providers of digital tickets can also contribute to quality, provided they are given access to all real-time and forecast infrastructure data relevant to competition. InfraGo would have to make this data equally available to all competitors.

Policy Brief | Issue 12 | May 12, 2023

The European Commission has launched a consultation on the question whether data traffic-intensive over-the-top (OTT) providers should contribute to the network expansion costs of telecommunications companies. In its policy brief „A contribution from data traffic-intensive over-the-top (OTT) providers to the costs of telecommunications network expansion should be rejected!“ published today, the Monopolies Commission takes a critical view. Currently, the Monopolies Commission does not consider a regulatory intervention to be justified that forces OTT providers to pay telecommunications companies:

  • According to the current assessment of the Monopolies Commission, new conditions in peering and transit markets do not legitimize a contribution for network expansion costs, because it is not apparent that OTT providers exploit their increased bargaining power.
  • There are no indications that a redistribution mechanism between OTT providers and telecommunications companies would improve the market situation. However, such intervention may cause distortions of competition.
  • The financial resources for fixed and mobile network expansion are sufficient.

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Policy Brief | Issue 11 | February 13, 2023

In its policy brief published today, "Adjusting flat rates for hospitals, ensuring the need for care, maintaining competition," the Monopolies Commission supports the introduction of flat rates for hospitals proposed by the Hospital Commission. At the same time, it makes a significant proposal for changes that would make it possible to achieve the goals of financially securing hospitals' need for care and maintaining quality competition. The Monopolies Commission specifically recommends the following to the Federal Government/Länder Group, which is currently discussing the implementation of the announced financing reform:

  • tie the reserve budgets to structural differences in regional supply costs that cannot be influenced, and
  • test the compensation factors empirically by an expert opinion.

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Special Report 83 (in German language only)