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ARTICLE ID 195089

$________ – DOJ – ANTITRUST – STATE AND FEDERAL HOP-ON, HOP-OFF BUS TOUR ANTITRUST SUIT SETTLES – ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ANTITRUST LAWS

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

In this antitrust case, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and New York State Attorney General accused leaders in the New York City hop-on, hop-off bus tour market. The defendants were accused of violating federal antitrust laws.

The defendants, Coach USA Inc., City Sights, LLC, and their joint venture, Twin America, LLC, operate in the New York City hop-on, hop-off bus tour market. Coach USA is headquartered in Paramus, New Jersey, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stagecoach Group, PLC, a UK-based international public transport company. City Sights is part of the New York Airport Service group of companies, an operator of ground transportation, tour and sightseeing services for leisure and corporate markets. Prior to the formation of Twin America, the defendants accounted for approximately 99% of the hop-on, hop-off bus tour market in New York City. The DOJ states that between ________ and ________, the two companies competed on price and product offerings, resulting in direct benefit to the consumer. In early ________, over a period of approximately two months, Coach and City Sights implemented the joint venture and increased hop-on, hop-off bus tour prices by approximately 10%. The DOJ states that the formation of Twin America was not required to be reported under the HSR Act, and they learned of it only after its consummation. The State of New York began an investigation of Twin America shortly after its formation, and issued subpoenas in the summer of ________. The joint venture continues to operate both the Gray Line New York and CitySights NY brands today.

On December 11, ________, the United States and the State of New York filed suit in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York. The defendants, Coach USA, Inc. City Sights, LLC, and Twin America, LLC were accused of violating antitrust laws.The matter was resolved via settlement, in which the defendant agreed to pay $________ in disgorgement of profits obtained through the operation of their joint venture. The defendant will also relinquish all of City Sights’ Manhattan bus stop authorizations to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), including locations such as the areas surrounding Times Square, the Empire State Building, and Battery Park. Finally, the defendant will establish antitrust training programs and provide the government with advance notice of any future acquisition in the New York City hop-on hop-off bus tour market.

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