The EU Court of Justice clarifies the scope of the essential facilities doctrine in a case involving the Lithuanian national railway (Lietuvos geležinkeliai)

On 12 January 2023, the EU Court of Justice upheld [1] the EU General Court’s judgment imposing a fine on Lithuanian Railways for dismantling a section of railway track. While reaffirming its essential facility case law (Bronner), the Court confirmed that the Bronner case law did not apply to the deliberate destruction of State-owned infrastructure managed by a dominant company which was obliged to grant access to that infrastructure. The fine on Lithuanian Railways On 2 October 2017, the European Commission (EC) fined Lietuvos geležinkeliai AB (Lithuanian Railways) EUR 28 million for abusing a dominant position by dismantling 19km of railway track connecting Lithuania and Latvia. Lithuanian Railways managed the track, but the track was constructed and owned by the Lithuanian State.

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