FirstGroup and MTR / South Western rail franchise merger inquiry

The CMA investigated the award of the South Western rail franchise to FirstGroup plc and MTR Corporation.

Statutory timetable

Phase 1 date Action
18 August 2017 Undertakings in lieu of reference accepted
24 July 2017 Decision published
11 July 2017 Decision announced
5 to 19 May 2017 Invitation to comment
5 May 2017 Launch of merger inquiry

Phase 1

Undertakings in lieu of reference accepted

18 August 2017: The CMA has accepted undertakings in lieu of reference for the acquisition of the South Western rail franchise by FirstGroup plc and MTR Corporation. A copy of the undertakings and the decision are available below.

Undertakings in lieu of reference consultation: Now closed

24 July 2017: We are consulting on proposed undertakings in lieu of a reference for the acquisition of the South Western rail franchise by FirstGroup plc and MTR Corporation.

CMA to consider undertakings offered

19 July 2017: The CMA considers that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the undertakings offered by FirstGroup and MTR, or a modified version of them, might be accepted by the CMA under the Enterprise Act 2002. A copy of the decision is available below.

Reference unless undertakings accepted

11 July 2017: The CMA has decided, on the information currently available to it, that it is or may be the case that this merger may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom. This merger will be referred for a phase 2 investigation unless the parties offer acceptable undertakings to address these competition concerns. The full text of the decision is available below.

Invitation to comment: now closed

5 May 2017: The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.

Launch of merger inquiry

5 May 2017: The CMA has launched its phase 1 investigation following the European Commission’s decision to refer the case to the United Kingdom under Article 4(4) of the EC Merger Regulation.

Contact

Please send written representations about any competition or public interest concerns to:

Verity Egerton-Doyle
Competition and Markets Authority
Victoria House
Southampton Row
London
WC1B 4AD

verity.doyle@cma.gsi.gov.uk

Published 5 May 2017
Last updated 24 August 2017 + show all updates
  1. Undertakings in lieu acceptance decision published.
  2. Undertakings in lieu of reference accepted.
  3. Full text decision published, decision that undertakings might be accepted published, and undertakings in lieu of reference consultation launched.
  4. CMA to consider undertakings announcement added.
  5. Decision announced: reference unless undertakings accepted.
  6. First published.