Reckon: Lessening of competition in First / Greater Western

Second submission (9 pages, PDF) by the Driving Up Standards campaign to the Competition Commission in connection with the merger inquiry into the proposed award of the Greater Western passenger rail franchise to FirstGroup plc. The submission includes a Reckon paper which identifies ways in which existing overlaps between the Greater Western franchise and First's bus services may have given rise to some lessening of competition, which needs to be taken into account given the appropriate counterfactual for the inquiry. The paper also discusses risks that competition in local bus markets may be impeded by the merger even in the presence of inter-operator ticketing arrangements, and the possibility that the merger may lead to the loss of competitive constraints on off-peak rail fares as well as on bus services. The Competition Commission's provisional findings are now expected in "late January-early February" 2006.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Competition Commission, Public transport, Reckon LLP.

Reckon LLP is an economics consultancy with expertise in data analysis, economic regulation and competition law.

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