On 15 June 2009, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) published the full text of its decision to refer the completed acquisition by Stagecoach Group plc of Preston Bus Limited to the Competition Commission under the Enterprise Act 2002. The OFT found that the merger has resulted, or may be expected, to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the intra-urban commercial bus market in Preston due the loss of competitive constraints from actual and potential competition (whether on the basis of overlapping flows or looking at a wider market of north Preston). The OFT did not accept the "failing firm" defence as it found that, following liquidation, Preston Bus' assets could have been acquired and used by a less anti-competitive purchaser. The OFT also found that the de minimis and customer benefits exceptions to its duty to refer did not apply.
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OFT publishes reference decision in Stagecoach/ Preston Bus merger
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