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Jeremy Robinson - Articles and news items

Deal insight: overcoming competition hurdles in rail franchise awards

Issue 1 2017 / 31 January 2017 /

The UK’s Railways Act contains an obscure passage with deal-critical implications. If you enter a rail franchise agreement, you may need to first overcome competition law hurdles, the most immediate being: do you need clearance under merger control rules before you can proceed? This question stems from section 66(3) of the Railways Act 1993: by entering into a rail franchise agreement, a franchisee acquires control of a business, which could amount to a “relevant merger situation” in UK law, or a “concentration” in EU law. Which rules you follow (at least for as long as the UK remains in the EU) depends on the turnover of the bidder and the target franchise. If you are bidding for a rail franchise, how do you address this issue when responding to an Invitation To Tender (ITT)? Jeremy Robinson (Partner) and Vineet Budhiraja (Associate) at international law firm Watson Farley &Williams explore.