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Document 52015XX1023(02)

Final Report of the Hearing Officer — Blocktrains (AT.40098)

OJ C 351, 23.10.2015, p. 4–4 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 351/4

Final Report of the Hearing Officer (1)



(2015/C 351/05)

On 10 June 2014, the European Commission (‘Commission’) initiated proceedings pursuant to Article 2(1) of Regulation (EC) No 773/2004 (2) against Kühne + Nagel International AG and Kuehne + Nagel A.E. (collectively referred to as ‘K+N’), ÖBB-Holding AG, Rail Cargo Austria AG, Rail Cargo Logistics — Austria GmbH and Express Interfracht Hellas A.E. (collectively referred to as ‘EXIF’) and Deutsche Bahn AG, Schenker AG, Schenker & Co. AG and Schenker A.E. (collectively referred to as ‘Schenker’), (together ‘the parties’).

Following settlement discussions and settlement submissions in accordance with Article 10a of Regulation (EC) No 773/2004, on 26 May 2015 the Commission adopted a Statement of Objections (‘SO’) addressed to the parties, stating that they had participated in one single and continuous infringement of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The infringement consisted on the allocation of customers and transport volumes and of price coordination in the sector of rail cargo transport services in connection with blocktrains between central and south-eastern Europe, such as Balkantrain and Soptrain, operated jointly by them.

The parties' respective replies to the SO confirmed that the SO addressed to them reflected the contents of their settlement submissions.

Pursuant to Article 16 of Decision 2011/695/EU, I have examined whether the draft decision deals only with objections in respect of which the parties have been afforded the opportunity of making known their views, and I have come to a positive conclusion.

In view of the above, and taking into account that the parties have not addressed any requests or complaints to me (3), I consider that the effective exercise of the procedural rights of all participants to the proceedings in this case has been respected.

Brussels, 14 July 2015.

Wouter WILS

(1)  Pursuant to Articles 16 and 17 of Decision 2011/695/EU of the President of the European Commission of 13 October 2011 on the function and terms of reference of the hearing officer in certain competition proceedings (OJ L 275, 20.10.2011, p. 29).

(2)  Commission Regulation (EC) No 773/2004 of 7 April 2004 relating to the conduct of proceedings by the Commission pursuant to Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty (OJ L 123, 27.4.2004, p. 18).

(3)  Under Article 15(2) of Decision 2011/695/EU, parties to the proceedings in cartel cases which engage in settlement discussions pursuant to Article 10a of Regulation (EC) No 773/2004, may call upon the hearing officer at any stage during the settlement procedure in order to ensure the effective exercise of their procedural rights. See also paragraph 18 of Commission Notice 2008/C 167/01 on the conduct of settlement procedures in view of the adoption of Decisions pursuant to Article 7 and Article 23 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 in cartel cases (OJ C 167, 2.7.2008, p. 1).