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Thursday 04 November, 2004

Competition Commissn

NEG/Gr Anglia Final Report

Competition Commission
04 November 2004

News Release


64-04
                                     4 November 2004

           CC CONFIRMS CLEARANCE OF NEG/GREATER ANGLIA RAIL FRANCHISE

The Competition Commission (CC) has formally cleared the acquisition by National
Express Group plc (NEG) of the Greater Anglia rail franchise which was referred
to the CC by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on 27 May 2004 for investigation
and report. After conducting two surveys of users and an analysis of the
potential profit incentives of NEG post the merger, the CC has concluded that
the acquisition of the Greater Anglia rail franchise will not lead to a
substantial lessening of competition.

This confirms the conclusion of the provisional findings report, which was
published on 17 September 2004.

For more details please see earlier news release dated 17 September 2004
available on the CC's web site at: www.competition-commission.org.uk/press_rel/
latest/2004/sep/index.htm.

Where a company acquires a rail franchise previously held by a different
operator, the acquisition is treated as a merger for the purposes of the
Enterprise Act 2002. Therefore the award by the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA)
to NEG of the Greater Anglia rail franchise is treated as a merger. The CC had
no power to investigate the prior decision by the SRA relating to creation of
the Greater Anglia rail franchise (through the integration of the former Anglia
and Great Eastern franchises and parts of the WAGN franchise).

The CC's findings are set out in its final report which is published on its web
site-www.competition-commission.org.uk.

Notes for editors

1.     The NEG/Greater Anglia Inquiry Group consisted of five members-Professor
Paul Geroski (Chairman of the CC), Sarah Brown, Chris Darke, Diana Guy and Peter
Stoddart-supported by the CC's staff.

2.     The Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act) empowers the OFT to refer to the CC
completed or proposed mergers, either where the merger creates or enhances a 25
per cent share of supply in the UK (or a substantial part thereof) or where the
UK turnover associated with the enterprise being acquired is over £70 million.

3.     The Act requires the CC to consult the main parties on its proposed
decisions and the CC will also publish notices of its provisional findings and
possible remedies on its web site as required by its rules.

4.     Enquiries should be directed to Francis Royle, Chief Press Officer, on
020 7271 0242 (email: francis.royle@competition-commission.gsi.gov.uk) or Rory
Taylor on 020 7271 0398 (email: rory.taylor@competition-commission.gsi.gov.uk).

5.     Further information on the CC and its procedures, including its policy on
the provision of information and the disclosure of evidence and merger
references can be obtained from its web site at:
www.competition-commission.org.uk.




                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange