Clearance of Stagecoach / Mayne

OFT grounds (9 pages, PDF) for clearing Stagecoach's acquisition of the Manchester bus and coach operator Mayne. The complete loss of competition on three flows was considered not to amount to a substantial lessening of competition because:

21 ... pricing information indicates that Mayne has not provided a constraint on [Stagecoach]. On no overlapping flow is Mayne's prices more expensive than those of [Stagecoach]. ... [Some Stagecoach fares] have increased five times over the past three years by a total of almost 40 per cent ... Over the same period of time Mayne has not changed its prices (apart from introducing a £1 minimum fare) and the OFT does not have any evidence of it picking up a significant number of [Stagecoach] passengers as a result. This would tend to indicate that Mayne has not exerted substantial pricing constraint [on Stagecoach]. This is consistent with the OFT's previous findings [for the same flows in a previous merger] given that the majority of revenue was represented by flows on which neither Mayne nor Northern Trains operated.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under OFT, Public transport.

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