ORR says no abuse in testing and approval of track lubricants

ORR decision (45 pages, PDF) under the Competition Act 1998, Article 81 and Article 82 that Portec Rail Products, a supplier of trackside lubricators, had not infringed competition law by refusing to carry out compatibility testing with its new lubricator for a lubricant promoted by XL Lubricants, part of NTM Sales and Marketing, whereas Portec has carried out testing and approval for lubricants supplied by RS Clare & Company, a company which also acts as a sales agent for Portec.

The key reasons for ORR's finding seem to be that "there is not strong and compelling evidence of a refusal to test to the appropriate standard of proof required by case law", "an extended field trial [in addition to a pumpability test] in itself appears objectively justifiable" and access to Portec's new lubricator for field trial purposes is unlikely to be "indispensable such that refusal would exclude all competition in the market for grease for use in electric trackside lubricators".

For a commentary on some aspects of the decision see ORR decision on testing of track lubricants | viewpoint: Franck.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Article 82, ORR, Public transport.

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