CMA clears Lothian Buses

The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) investigated and cleared the completed acquisition by East Coast Buses Ltd (part of Lothian Buses) of the east coast operations of First Scotland East Ltd.

On 15 September 2016, the CMA served an initial enforcement order under section 72(2) of the Enterprise Act 2002 on Transport for Edinburgh Ltd and its subsidiary East Coast Buses Ltd in relation to the acquisition. It considered, pursuant to section 22 of the Act, whether it is or may be the case that a relevant merger situation has been created and whether the creation of that situation resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets in the UK.

East Coast Buses has already made significant investment to secure jobs, improve services and carry out refurbishment work at its former-First owned Musselburgh garage. The company said it further demonstrated its commitment to the East Lothian community with the launch of NightHawk, a new night bus service to take residents home after weekend nights out in Edinburgh.

MD of Lothian Buses, Richard Hall, said, ‘We are absolutely delighted with the CMA decision announced today. We know that thousands of residents, workers and the economy of East Lothian rely on public transport for their daily lives and wellbeing. East Coast Buses Limited are now in a position to build on our original service offering and make further investment in our people and our fleet to ensure that buses continue to play an integral role in the communities that they serve.’

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