On February 08, 2011, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) issued a fundamental decision in favor of competition for the commuter railway system and regional transport. The contract between DB Regio NRW and VRR (Transport Association Rhine-Ruhr), concluded without bidding, was declared invalid.
"The BGH decision affirms the approach and the legal opinion of VRR, which we have advised in this matter for several years," explains Dr. Ute Jasper, long-standing legal counsel to VRR and Partner at law firm Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek.
For years, VRR and DB Regio have been in dispute over whether VRR paid too much money to DB Regio for the commuter railway system and regional transport. This dispute was to be settled through an agreement, by which the commuter railway system contract was to be extended by five years to 2023. VRR's Board of Management and law firm Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek had expressed legal misgivings about that. A competitor of DB, Abellio, had challenged the contract.
"I expected this decision," Dr. Jasper commented on the BGH ruling. "We are pleased that the BGH has affirmed our opinion.” An amicable settlement still remains possible – just not at the expense of competition.