Competition starts sanctions procedure for a possible agreement between school transport companies

Date:

It would be an agreement between the companies not to participate in the tenders issued by Education of the Basque Government for the academic year 2023-2024.

The Basque Competition Authority (AVC) has initiated sanction procedures against 76 school transport companies (25 from Araba, 45 from Bizkaia and 6 from Gipuzkoa) after understanding that “there are indications” that they could have agreed not to submit to the tenders launched by the Basque government to provide services to public school students.

The conflict between companies in the school transport sector and the Basque government became clear on Thursday, the first day of the school year, when about thirty companies used these routes last year to take students to their schools. they did not comply with the order given by the regional administration.

The result was that yesterday around 7,400 schoolchildren, mainly from rural areas, they had no bus to move, according to the Minister of Education, Jokin Bildarratz.

Bildarratz considered, in view of this situation, that the actions of the airlines, especially in Bizkaia and Álava, indicated “suspicious” and probably “illegal” practices on the part of some of these companies because they did not participate in the tenders for those lines, and announced that it would send this information to the Basque Competition Authority and to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in case of “indications of crime” in these proceedings.

Now, after a first analysis of this information, the Basque Competition Authority has opened a sanctions file “for a possible agreement between school transport companies not to participate in the tenders issued by the Ministry of Education of the Basque Government for the 2023-2024 school year ” .

Bildarratz announces financial assistance for families affected by the interruption of school transport

As explained, the opening of this file does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation and “the rational indications motivating the start and the qualification specified are preliminary in nature.” In this way a maximum period of 24 months for instruction and solution.

Overlooking the next Mondaythe Basque Government is committed to ensuring that students in public centers who need it have access to school transport, despite the fact that the associations of operators involved in this service continue their battle with the Ministry of Education to prevent this to resume until their demands have been negotiated .

Source: EITB

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