Current investigations

Details of our current casework regarding suspected breaches of competition law pdf icon PDF, 326 Kb.

Decision to accept commitments proposed by Freightliner (December 2015)

On 18 December 2015, ORR published its decision to accept commitments from Freightliner following an investigation into a suspected abuse of a dominant position in the provision of deep sea container rail transport services between ports and key inland destinations in Great Britain.

Formal acceptance of commitments by ORR has resulted in the discontinuance of the investigation, with no decision made as to whether or not the Competition Act 1998 or the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union have been infringed.

The commitments will remain in force from 18 December 2015 until 31 March 2019. ORR will continue to monitor developments in the DSC rail transport sector both through the reporting requirements built into the commitments and pursuant to its wider statutory duties.

Consultation on modified commitments proposal (November 2015)

On 19 November 2015 ORR gave notice that it proposed to accept a modified set of commitments offered by Freightliner, and invited representations from interested third parties on this course of action. A copy of this second consultation and the modified commitments can be found below.

Consultation on initial commitments proposal (3 September 2015, closed on 1 October 2015)

On 3 September 2015 ORR gave notice that it proposed to accept an initial set of commitments offered by Freightliner, and invited representations from interested third parties on this course of action. A copy of this first consultation and the initial commitments can be found below.

Indicative case timeline

  • Investigation opened
    7 November 2013 (actual)
  • First state of play meeting with the party after initial review of the evidence
    14 November 2013 (actual)
  • Investigation: further information requests and on-going analysis
    November 2013 - May 2014 (actual)
  • First decision point: to proceed with our investigation
    May 2014 (actual)
  • Second state of play meeting with the party following first decision point
    May 2014 (actual)
  • Investigation: further information requests and analysis
    May 2014 - January 2015 (actual)
  • Second decision point: on (i) to proceed (ii) to close case on admin priority grounds (iii) move to a no grounds for action decision
    January 2015 (actual)
  • Third state of play meeting with the party following second decision point
    February 2015 (actual)
  • Commitments: discussions commenced
    February 2015 (actual)
  • Investigation: ORR analysis and review of proposed commitments offers in parallel with continued analysis of the substantive case
    March - July 2015 (actual)
  • Consultation: ORR consulting on the proposal to accept  commitments
    3 September 2015 - 1 October 2015 (actual)
  • Consideration: ORR will carefully consider any representations made in response to the consultation before making any final decision whether to accept the commitments
    September - October 2015
  • Consultation: ORR consulting on the proposal to accept modified commitments
    19 November 2015 - 27 November 2015
  • Final decision: ORR accepted final commitments.
    18 December 2015

Change log

Date of change Reason and nature of changes made to the timeline
15 August 2014 Insertion of a reference to the second state of play meeting which was held in May 2014.

With a view to providing the business under investigation an opportunity to engage on the substance of the case, we have inserted a second decision point and a third state of play meeting, taking place in January 2015, which in turn has resulted in a moving backward of the timing of the third decision point to March-April, allowing us the necessary time to undertake the further analysis arising out of these additional stages.
13 July 2015 ORR engaged in commitments discussions. The revised timeline reflects the procedural steps necessary to take those discussions forward.
3 September 2015 ORR opened a consultation on commitments proposed by Freightliner Group Limited and Freightliner Limited to address ORR's competition concerns.
22 September 2015 ORR decided to extend the consultation period for all potential consultees by 5 working days.
19 November 2015 ORR opened a consultation on modified commitments proposed by Freightliner Group Limited and Freightliner Limited to address ORR's competition concerns.
18 December 2015 ORR published decision to accept commitments proposed by Freightliner