First Rail Holdings & Trenitalia UK / West Coast Partnership Rail Franchise

Competition Markets Authority

November 18
11:14 2019

Statutory timetable

Phase 1 date Action
18 November 2019 Decision published
7 November 2019 Decision announced
20 September to 4 October 2019 Invitation to comment
19 September 2019 Launch of merger inquiry

Phase 1

Undertakings in lieu of reference consultation

18 November 2019: We are consulting on proposed undertakings in lieu of a reference for the anticipated acquisition by First Trenitalia West Coast Rail Limited of the West Coast Partnership rail franchise.

CMA to consider undertakings offered

15 November 2019: The CMA considers that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the undertakings offered by FirstGroup plc (including its subsidiary First Rail Holdings Ltd) and Trenitalia SpA (including its subsidiary Trenitalia UK Ltd) or a modified version of them, might be accepted by the CMA under the Enterprise Act 2002.

Reference unless undertakings accepted

7 November 2019: The CMA has decided, on the information currently available to it, that it is or may be the case that this franchise award has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom. This franchise award will be referred for a phase 2 investigation unless First Rail Holdings Ltd and Trenitalia UK Ltd offer acceptable undertakings to address these competition concerns.

Invitation to comment: closes 4 October 2019

20 September 2019: The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.

To assist it with this assessment, the CMA invites comments on the transaction from any interested party.

These comments should be provided by the deadline set out above.

Launch of merger inquiry

19 September 2019: The CMA has launched its phase 1 investigation following the European Commissions decision to refer the case to the United Kingdom under Article 4(4) of the EC Merger Regulation.


Please send written representations about any competition issues to:

Anastasija Rogozianskaja
Competition and Markets Authority
The Cabot
25 Cabot Square
E14 4QZ

Published 20 September 2019
Last updated 18 November 2019 +show all updates
  1. Published: proposed undertakings, notice of consultation, and full text phase 1 decision.
  2. Published: Document outlining the decision that undertakings might be accepted.
  3. CMA to consider undertakings offered.
  4. Phase 1 decision announced.
  5. First published.

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