Go-Ahead acquisition referred to MMC

Go-Ahead, the bus company recently criticised for predatory pricing, has had another acquisition referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

It comes just two days after Stagecoach, Britain's biggest bus operator, faced another MMC referral, and will add to the concern about the "merger mania" gripping the sector. Jonathan Evans, consumer affairs minister, said Go-Ahead's purchase of OK Motor Services raised concerns about competition in the north-east England bus market. Go-Ahead bought the company in March for pounds 5.3m, and the MMC must report on the deal by January. On Wednesday, Stagecoach's acquisition of Chesterfield, a Derbyshire operator, became the company's fourth referral to the MMC in 12 months.