Appeal tribunal finds in favour of water competition

16 October 2006
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17 October 2006 | Paul Snell

The Competition Appeal Tribunal has ruled that prices quoted by Welsh Water to another supplier were excessive.

It follows a judgment made by water regulator Ofwat in May 2004 that found Welsh Water did not breach the Competition Act when quoting a price to Albion Water for treatment and transportation.

Albion had complained to Ofwat in 2001 that the estimate it was given from Welsh Water meant it would not be able to supply water to its customer at a lower price than it was already paying, negating competition. But Ofwat said the operating cost quoted was justified.

However, the tribunal ruled that Ofwat's decision was incorrect and said the price originally quoted to Albion was excessive. It also found an "absence of any convincing justification for the 'distribution' costs included".

The tribunal said it had "serious concerns" about the "removal of choice for the customer" and elimination of options prompted by Ofwat's decision.

The tribunal will announce further details on necessary actions for the parties involved later in the month.

SMoct2006

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