Competition Law; Great Plymouth Limited

Competition Law

Problem Question: 


Great Plymouth Limited (GPL) is the incumbent bus operator in Plymouth and does not have any operations outside Plymouth. Its annual turnover is £8 million. Its annual turnover is £8 million. GPL runs about 95 per cent of all the bus routes within Plymouth, including the routes between the University and city centre which are particularly popular. In August 2016, another bus operator, The Anglian, tried to enter the market by offering a £1 fixed fare for any single journey within Plymouth. The fare for the same journey with GPL is priced at £2. In September 2016, GPL started a new promotion and offered University students and staff an 80 per cent discount on the regular fare when they purchase an annual bus pass.
The Anglian is losing more and more customers every month on the University-city route. The Anglian is on the verge of bankruptcy, and if the trend of losing customers cannot be reversed by January 2018, it will inevitably exit the market. The Anglian’s last hope is a complaint to the CMA.

Before filing the complaint, The Anglian seeks advice from you as the local competition expert.
Your advice should include answers to the following questions:
(a) Should the complaint be filed only with the CMA or also with the European Commission? If it is only with the CMA, how does this affect The Anglian’s chances of success?
(b) What are the potential infringements of competition law, if any? What types of defences, if any, is GPL likely to run?
(c) What are the potential remedies that the competition authority can impose What are the most appropriate and therefore most likely to be imposed?

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