CAT awards damages to Achilles Information Limited

CAT awards damages to Achilles Information Limited

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) has awarded damages of approximately £3.8m to Achilles Information Limited, a provider of supplier assurance services, against Network Rail, for a breach of the Chapter 1 prohibition of the Competition Act 1998. Until May 2018, Achilles operated a supplier assurance scheme in the rail industry.

In May 2018 Network Rail announced that businesses operating in the rail sector would only be allowed access to Network Rail infrastructure if they were assured by the RISQS scheme operated by the Rail Safety Standards Board. In 2019, the CAT ruled that Network Rail’s imposition of the “RISQS-only Rule” was anti-competitive and in breach of the Chapter I prohibition.

The quantum trial took place in October 2021 and judgment was handed down on 11 February 2022. The CAT rejected Network Rail’s argument that Achilles would not have been in a position to continue operating in the market in May 2018. Instead, the CAT used the methodology presented by Achilles’ economic expert to assess the likely performance of Achilles in the counterfactual, to calculate the damage suffered by Achilles both to the date of the trial and subsequently.

David Parker, Director in Frontier’s Competition practice, was the economic expert for Achilles in both the liability and quantum trials.

Liability judgment here.

Quantum judgment here.

Frontier Economics regularly advises clients on competition matters.

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