Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and STA Travel Ltd

Judgment Date24 October 1998
Date24 October 1998
Docket NumberCA/21/97
CourtCompetition Authority (Ireland)



Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU), STA Travel Limited (STA Travel).


Student travel services - Section 4 Competition Act 1991

TCDSU sought a certificate or licence for a five-year exclusive-dealing agreement with STA Travel to provide the Union with travel-related services for sale to students and staff at Trinity College. TCDSU claimed the exclusive arrangement did not distort competition, as Trinity students were free to use the services of USIT or any other company off campus.

The Authority decided that the arrangement qualified for a certificate but, on 13 January 1998, USIT (Ireland) Ltd indicated that they wished to be heard before the Authority made any decision.


Notification No. CA/21/97- Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU), STA Travel Limited (STA Travel).


Notification was made by TCDSU on 24 October, 1997 with a request for a Certificate under Section 4(4) of the Competition Act, 1991 or, in the event of a refusal by the Competition Authority to issue a certificate, a licence under Section 4(2), in respect of an Agency and Exclusive Dealing Agreement between TCDSU


and STA Travel.

  • (a) Subject of the Notification

    The notification concerns an exclusive dealing arrangement dated the 20 June 1996 between TCDSU and STA Travel. Under the proposed arrangements STA Travel will provide TCDSU with travel related services (airline tickets, ferry tickets, train tickets, car hire etc.) for onward sale to students and staff at Trinity College.

  • (b) The Parties Involved

    The parties to the Agreement are TCDSU and STA Travel. TCDSU is a private company limited by guarantee. TCDSU acts as a travel agency for students and staff at Trinity College Dublin and trades under the name Dublin University Student Travel (DUST). STA Travel is an English company having its registered offices at 6 Wrights Lane, London, W8 6TA. It provides student and youth travel services to UK based agencies.

  • (c) The Product and the Market

    The market in this notification is the provision of travel services to full-time third level students and youths (under 26) in Ireland. In its submission to the Authority, TCDSU stated that it is primarily engaged in the provision of ‘discounted travel services’ for full time third level students and for persons under 26 years of age and that these two categories of travellers represent a market which is distinct from the market encompassing the services for the general travelling public.

    According to TCDSU there are three companies that specialise in student travel in the State: USIT Ireland...

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