BahnTrans in the clear
THE European Commission decided on May 7 to close its investigation into possible state aid for freight forwarding company BahnTrans, founded in September 1994 as a joint venture of Deutsche Bahn AG and Thyssen Haniel Logistik. DB sold its holding to SNCB in June 1998.
Acting on a trade association complaint, the EC opened the procedure in November 2000. EC rules may be violated if a state-owned company acts towards a subsidiary in a way incompatible with the behaviour of a private market investor in a comparable situation. After a thorough analysis into the provision of equity capital by DB, its agreements with BahnTrans for use of freight facilities and rail services, the take-over of personnel, marketing strategy, revenue sharing agreements and cash injections, the Commission concluded that all these commercial relationships had been conducted according to standard business practices.