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Epyx works with OFT on resolution for competition concerns

The concerns regard epyx's conduct in the UK SMR platforms market, which includes the epyx 1link Service Network SMR platform.

The commitments have been offered in response to the OFT’s investigation under the Competition Act 1998 following a complaint alleging an abuse of a dominant position.

The OFT said it is concerned that certain provisions in Epyx’s contracts may restrict its SMR platform customers – particularly those that manage vehicle fleets – from evaluating, developing, marketing and using alternative systems, and may therefore raise barriers to market entry.

Epyx has offered commitments that would relax or remove these contractual restrictions, giving its customers the freedom to work with, develop and sponsor alternative systems while also enjoying more frequent opportunities to switch supplier. Customers will additionally benefit from technical support from epyx, where this is reasonably necessary to facilitate switching.

The OFT considers that these commitments offer clear opportunities for competitors to enter the market and provide epyx’s current customers with the option to switch to rival suppliers if they choose to. The OFT therefore proposes to accept these commitments, subject to consultation. If accepted by the OFT, the commitments will bring the investigation to an end. 

Ann Pope, senior director in the OFT’s services, infrastructure and public markets group, said: 'The OFT is consulting on whether these commitments will provide an immediate and effective means of encouraging meaningful competition in the SMR platform market in the UK. Under the proposed commitments, a range of existing barriers to entry should be significantly reduced and the market opened to choice and innovation. The OFT would now like to hear the views of all interested parties before it makes its decision on whether to accept the commitments.'

Comments on the proposed commitments should be submitted to the OFT by 5 pm on 4th April 2014 via email and/or by post, addressing their response to: SMR Platforms Team
, Office of Fair Trading, 
Fleetbank House, 
2-6 Salisbury Square,
London EC4Y 8JX or Email: [email protected]

The announcement comes ahead of the merger of the OFT and the Competition Commission into the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on 1st April 2014, which will become the UK’s lead competition and consumer body.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.