How to complain under competition law

Guidance on how to complain if you suspect that any company supplying goods or services relating to railways is involved in activities prohibited by the competition law.

Who can complain and how?

You do not have to be directly involved in an activity to make a complaint, nor do you have to be a business. You may get in touch with us if you suspect that any company supplying goods or services relating to railways is involved in activities prohibited by the competition law.

Some examples of anti-competitive behaviour are provided on the competition issues page. This is not an exhaustive list and if you have any questions related to competition, please contact us.

Business and other organisations

Although there is no set format for making a complaint under the Competition Act 1998, we have set out a format at Annex D of our guideline on the application of competition law to services relating to railways pdf icon PDF, 920 Kb.

A complaint should outline the nature of the issues and should include as much information as possible. It should be supported by any evidence you already have, such as notes of telephone conversations, copies of correspondence and anything else you may consider relevant.

Passengers

If you would like to make a complaint to us under the competition act, please first read our page about rail fares and car-park charges, the role of competition law. If you would still like to make a complaint, fill in our complaint form DOC icon DOC, 58 Kb with as much detail as you can before sending it to us.

Complaints under the Competition Act 1998 must be made in writing and be supported by evidence. If the person complaining does not supply enough information with the complaint, we will not be able to consider it.

The amount and detail of evidence we would expect a business or organisation to provide is higher than we would expect from individual passengers. However, we do still need enough to help us to quickly understand the issue and decide whether it is something we should look at more closely.

When we have considered the material you have provided, we may need to ask you for more details. Complaints are an extremely important source of information about anti-competitive activity and we actively encourage complaints from businesses and individuals who suspect that a breach of the Competition Act is taking place. We will let you know how we propose to deal with your complaint within 20 days and will keep you informed of progress.

Confidentiality

In order to investigate a complaint fully, we will generally need to divulge the information we have obtained to the company being investigated. If you consider that any of the information you have provided to back up your complaint contains commercial information relating to a business/individual, and that its disclosure might seriously damage those interests, you should clearly mark it as confidential and explain why you think it should be treated as such. However, you should try to keep the amount of such information to a minimum to enable your complaint to be pursued effectively.

If we consider it absolutely necessary to disclose any of the confidential information that you have provided, we will, where possible, discuss with you beforehand. We will not make public the identity of a complainant without his or her consent. There are circumstances where it is also possible to protect the identity of the complainant from the company being investigated. If you are concerned about the disclosure of your identity, you should raise this at the earliest opportunity.

Further information