The competition watchdog today said it is looking at whether the deal awarded to Aberdeen-headquartered FirstGroup and Italian firm Trenitalia to run the West Coast Main Line franchise raises any competition concerns.
The Competition and Markets Authority said it is considering whether the deal could result in a situation which leads to “substantial lessening of competition”. Comments on the transaction from any interested party are invited by October 4.
In August First Group and Trenitalia UK were awarded the contract to run the service as a 70-30 joint venture from December 8. Fellow Scottish transport giant Stagecoach was disqualified from bidding for the new contract after it did not comply with rules over pension funding.
At the time of the contract award FirstGroup, which operates the Great Western, South Western and TransPennine Express franchises, said the CMA would be carrying out an initial review of the deal.