Feds, NY Bust Up|Tour Bus Monopoly


     MANHATTAN (CN) – The federal government and New York State filed an antitrust complaint Tuesday against a two-company joint venture for “hop-on, hop-off” bus tours of New York City.
     Twin America LLC, a joint venture of Coach USA and City Sights, created a monopoly in the relevant $100 million-plus market, enabling the partners to jack up prices by 10 percent for tourists visiting Central Park, the Empire State Building and other attractions, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
     The state and federal governments want the joint venture dissolved, and penalties.
     “This lawsuit is an important step toward restoring competition and protecting tourists in New York City,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “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. The formation of Twin America has meant higher prices and less competition.”
     New York City draws 50 million tourists a year, and about 2 million of them spend a total of more than $100 million a year on the hop-on, hop-off bus tours, prosecutors said in the statement.

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