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Public service obligations

Public service obligations and competition rules

Under Article 106(2) TFEU, companies that provide services of general economic interest are subject to the rules of the Treaties, in particular to the rules of competition.

But unlike other economic sectors, this article does not apply when compensation is paid for public service obligations in land transport. Instead, this type of compensation is covered by Article 93 TFEU as a lex specialist and is applied according to the rules of Regulation 1370/2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and by road.

Unlike land transport, the maritime transport and air transport sectors are subject to Article 106(2) of the Treaty. There are certain rules that apply to public service compensation in these two sectors, which can be found in Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community and in Regulation (EEC) No 3577/92 which applies the principle of freedom to provide services to maritime transport within Member States (maritime cabotage).