21 April 2016: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has published its impact assessment of renewing the block exemption. It considers the costs and benefits of renewing the block exemption compared to allowing the exemption to lapse.
This impact assessment found that allowing the exemption to lapse risked incurring additional costs to transport providers and could lead to a reduction in investment and development of ticketing schemes, although the level of costs would be difficult to quantify. As a result the impact assessment recommended the renewal of the block exemption.
Consultation on updated guidance
13 April 2016: Following the renewal of the block exemption by the Secretary of State in February 2016, the CMA is consulting on updated guidance on the block exemption.
This order comes into force on 29 February 2016. The order makes certain amendments to the block exemption and extends the duration for 10 years. The CMA will consult on its updated guidance on the Public Transport Ticketing Schemes Block Exemption (OFT439) shortly after the order coming into force.
Final recommendations to the Secretary of State
10 December 2015: The CMA has published its final report and recommendations to the Secretary of State.
The public transport ticketing schemes block exemption automatically exempts certain types of ticketing agreements from Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 (this is the UK law prohibiting anti-competitive agreements) insofar as they meet certain specified conditions. It allows for public transport operators to enter into agreements to offer passengers tickets that they can use on the services of 2 or more operators. This normally increases the mobility of passengers and makes travel more flexible.
The public transport ticketing schemes block exemption is due to expire on 29 February 2016. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is reviewing it in order to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State on whether the block exemption should continue (whether in the same or in a revised form) or be allowed to lapse, before the current instrument expires.
Responses to consultation
28 September 2015: We have received the following responses to our consultation: