A claim brought by Enron Coal Services Limited (ECSL) has been allowed to continue despite English, Welsh and Scottish Railway Limited (EWS) petitioning the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to strike out their claim on the grounds of rule 40 of the Tribunal Rules. ECSL allege that they were the victims of anticompetitive overcharging in relation to coal haulage on certain rail routes. They are using a decision by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) as evidence that EWS abused its dominant position in the market for coal haulage. The ORR determined that EWS pursued, without objective justification, selective and discriminatory pricing practices that placed ECSL at a competitive disadvantage.
EWS submitted that the CAT did not have jurisdiction to hear ECSL’s claim. The CAT, however, decided that ECSL were entitled to advance their claim. The lower prices EWS offered to their other customers should have also been offered to ECSL. Additionally the CAT concluded that the price discrimination established in the ORR’s decision was only limited to a very specific period of time. As a result of applying the ORR’s findings the CAT therefore rejected part of ECSL’s claim; the remainder of the overcharge claim has been allowed to continue.