Austria’s competition authority launches investigation into ‘distorted’ taxi and private hire indust


Austria’s Federal Competition Authority (BWB) are to launch an investigation in to the taxi and private hire industry after concerns the sector was becoming ‘distorted’. The BWB announced that they are to carry out general investigations of the industry as there may be suggestions that competition within the sector is restricted or distorted.

The taxi and rental (private hire) markets were merged with the amendment of a new traffic law. This means the same regulations now apply to both trades, which the BWB say could lead to disruption of innovative business models. BWB say they have put the study forward to create an objective market analysis and recommendations that will enable sound and sustainable decision-making for regulatory action. They claim that on the one hand, regulation should allow for innovative business models of the shared economy and, on the other hand, ensure security for consumers. In particular, the associated effects on consumers and a possible restriction of the innovation potential in this market are of central importance. The industry survey is based on requests for information from market participants, economic analysts of the BWB, scientific literature as well as reports and investigations by national competition authorities. In addition, intensive discussions are held with companies, interest groups and other institutions active in the taxi and rental business. "Connecting old and modern business models in one market is a challenge. This can be well observed by the taxi market. In order for companies to retain their capacity for innovation, the right level of regulation is important. BWB is pleased to make its expertise available with regard to the long-term effects on competition and the ability to innovate,” explains CEO of BWB, Dr. Ing. Theodor Thanner. 

Image credit: Roshan Vyas (Flickr) CC2.0

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