The Competition and Markets Authority has confirmed that it will not refer the merger of Bouygues and EQUANS to a Phase 2 review.
The competition regulator has been investigating the deal after concerns were raised when both businesses offered services to supply HS2 with Overhead Catenary Systems (OCS) as part of a competitive tender. The tender concerned EQUANS subsidiaries SPL Powerlines UK Limited and INEO (acting together as Rapide JV) and Bouygues-owned Colas Rail.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) felt that this may constitute a reduction in competition, potentially resulting in a higher-cost final contract.
In August 2022, both companies submitted proposals to “remedy competition concerns”. These proposals, including the appointment of an independent third-party assessor, have been accepted by CMA.