Stagecoach defends its tour bus firm over lawsuit

Stagecoach Group has lashed out at the federal and New York State government for initiating legal proceedings against its tour company Twin America over claims it has been 'anticompetitive'.

Stagecoach Group has lashed out at the federal and New York State government for initiating legal proceedings against its tour company Twin America over claims it has been 'anticompetitive'.

Twin America - a joint venture between Stagecoach North American and City Sights - was formed in 2009 by the merger of companies, City Sights and Gray Line New York, which operate sightseeing bus tours in New York City.

The government has accused the company of being a monopoly and eliminating competition.

Stagecoach, which owns 50% of the voting rights and 60% of the economic rights of the venture, said it was disappointed at the view taken by authorities.

"New York has a vibrant and highly competitive tourist attraction market," the company said in a statement.

"Moreover, since the joint venture was formed in 2009, the sightseeing bus industry has become even more competitive as new sightseeing bus operators have commenced business in New York and other companies have announced firm plans to do so shortly. Stagecoach North America, City Sights and Twin America disagree with the position of the Department of Justice and the New York Attorney General and believe their action is unnecessary."

The company serves about two million tourists a year and makes about $100m in revenue a year, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.

The attorney general said the lawsuit was an important step towards restoring competition and protecting tourists from being overcharged.

"The iconic double-decker Gray Line and City Sights buses are seen all over New York City, but few people know they are run as a monopoly," he said.

However, Stagecoach, which has a market capitalisation of £1.74bn, insists Twin American and the joint venture parties have continued to work with authorities and the hike in prices in 2009 were a reflection of increased labour, fuel and other costs.

Twin America and the joint venture parties plan to defend their position and take action to protect their interests, Stagecoach added.

RD

Recommended

The top funds to invest in
Funds

The top funds to invest in

As market volatility and recessionary fears continue, here are the most popular funds, stocks and trusts investors are putting their money into accord…
2 Feb 2023
The ten highest dividend yields in the FTSE 100
Income investing

The ten highest dividend yields in the FTSE 100

Rupert Hargreaves takes a look at the companies with the highest dividend yields in the UK’s blue-chip index
23 Jan 2023
The top ten dividend stocks in the FTSE 250
Share tips

The top ten dividend stocks in the FTSE 250

The average FTSE 250 dividend yield is around 4%, but many stocks yield much more. Rupert Hargreaves picks the best FTSE 250 stocks for income investo…
17 Jan 2023
Investing trends to watch out for in 2023: what analysts say
Investment strategy

Investing trends to watch out for in 2023: what analysts say

What are sensible strategies for high inflationary times? We ask analysts to find out.
22 Dec 2022

Most Popular

Best savings accounts – February 2023
Savings

Best savings accounts – February 2023

Interest rates on cash savings are making a comeback. We look at the best savings accounts on the market now
3 Feb 2023
When will interest rates go up?
UK Economy

When will interest rates go up?

Interest rates are now at 4%, and they could rise further in the months ahead.
3 Feb 2023
NS&I brings back one-year fixed bonds with highest rates since 2010
Personal finance

NS&I brings back one-year fixed bonds with highest rates since 2010

NS&I’s one-year fixed bonds are back on sale after being pulled off the market in 2019 - but is the rate any good?
1 Feb 2023