The OFT has referred the acquisitions of Eastbourne Buses Limited and Cavendish Motor Services by Stagecoach Bus Holdings Limited to the Competition Commission. Eastbourne Buses and Cavendish Motor Services provided local bus services in Eastbourne and Hailsham, while Stagecoach is one of the largest bus and coach companies in the UK, with operations in over 100 towns and cities. As a result of the acquisitions, Stagecoach has become the monopoly provider of commercial bus services in Eastbourne. The OFT concluded that, given the absence of any evidence of likely entry in the short to medium term by other bus operators, there was a concern that the acquisitions could result in higher prices and/or decreased service quality to Eastbourne bus users. As part of its investigation the OFT considered whether to exercise its 'de minimis' discretion, (which allows it not to refer cases concerning small markets to the Competition Commission) given the overall value of the affected market in this case is around £6 million per year, but given the strength of the OFT's competition concerns and the deterrent effect of a referral to potential future similar deals, the OFT considered it proportionate to refer the case to the CC for further investigation