Harwood relative dating
It said the OFT's ruling contained "errors of fact and law".
For instance, it was "concerned" the OFT ignored evidence supplied by the Burgesses of movements in Harwood Park's prices, relative to other crematoria, in recent years.
The OFT argued Burgess had viable alternatives to the Harwood Court crematorium, and that Austin's could use its dominant position to eliminate Burgess, as long as one other alternative - in this case the Co-op - remained open. "We find it hard to see how any funeral director in the Stevenage/Knebworth area could long remain in business without access to Harwood Park," it stated.
It added that Austin's was not competing on merits of its service, but gaining customers by handicapping Burgess.
The tribunal said: "While we accept that such figures need to be interpreted with caution, they do tend to show that Harwood Park does indeed have market power."The OFT's calculations also came under scrutiny, with the tribunal stating it had "some difficulty" understanding how it came up with its figures.
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It said it hoped the OFT would "review its procedures to ensure that such cases can be dealt with within an acceptable timeframe".
An OFT spokesman said the office had already begun to reform its procedures by prioritising certain cases."We recognise this is an important case for the refusal to supply in local markets and we want to study the judgment in relation to that," he added.