Open Letter to Gaucho Rasmussen, Enforcement Director at CMA

Dear Gaucho,

You’ll remember that earlier this year I applied for my barrister to receive a copy of the case the Office of Fair Trading (now CMA) took out against Expedia, and Intercontinental Hotels. The case, as set out in the CMA’s ‘Statement of Objections’, detailed the possible areas of anti-competitive behaviour of the above defendants.

On that occasion, access to the Statement of Objections was denied to Skoosh’s barrister on the basis that it wasn’t relevant. However, now that Skoosh is challenging the CMA’s decision with the Competition Appeal Tribunal I feel that document is more relevant than ever and I am uncomfortable knowing that I am the only person to have a copy.

Whilst I take your point that the original case is the CMA’s, with Skoosh merely the complainant, I also see it as a matter of public interest. To put it another way, the UK tax-payer paid for a case which it never saw, which was concluded to the open dismay of not just Skoosh but also by large sectors of the travel industry, and which threatens to fundamentally change the way UK travellers book hotel rooms.

Without any legal assistance I can’t know with any degree of certainty whether the Statement of Objections contains any material which would be relevant in the tribunal. The CMA’s repeat reminders that unauthorized disclosure is a criminal offence makes me wonder whether there is anything in there. That said, I don’t need reminding and I won’t illegally disclose it under any circumstances but I would like your approval to disclose the case to my barrister at the very least. If he decides it is irrelevant we can ignore it of course.

On that basis, would you please reconsider my application to disclose the Statement of Objections to my barrister.

Kind regards,

Dorian Harris

p.s. In the interests of transparency a copy of this email has been posted on my blog at

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