AG James Opens Up NYC Tourism Market To Competition

AG James Opens Up NYC Tourism Market to Competition

Hornblower Has Divested Assets to Replace Competition in Dining Cruise Industry
Lost by Recent Acquisition of Entertainment Cruises

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced an agreement to increase competition in New York City’s tourism market. The agreement — required by a September 2019 settlement between the Office of the New York Attorney General and Hornblower Group, Inc. — will ensure Hornblower divests certain assets to Cornucopia Cruise Line, Inc. in an effort to allow Cornucopia to become a new competitor in the New York City dining cruise market. Without this divestiture, Hornblower’s acquisition of Entertainment Cruises, Inc. would likely have led to higher prices for tourists looking to purchase tickets for a dining cruise in New York City.

“New York’s tourism industry is the lifeblood of our city, which is why we will not allow any business to dominate the market,” said Attorney General James. “Being gouged for a dining cruise would leave a bad taste in the mouth of any of the millions of tourists who flock to New York day-after-day to see our city’s amazing sights. Increased competition in the industry will ensure better prices and options for consumers, while providing more jobs for our city’s residents and boosting our local economy. I am pleased this agreement will allow for a new option in the dining cruise market, and keep these events affordable for all who want to experience the majesty of New York by water.”

The investigation by the Office of the New York Attorney General indicated that Hornblower had obtained dominance in New York City’s dining cruise market by way of its acquisition of Entertainment Cruises. The investigation also confirmed that while other already-existing dining cruise operators wished to expand their operations into New York City, they were unable to do so due to a lack of available dock space in the city. Investigators concluded that opening up one of Hornblower’s prime Manhattan piers to a new dining cruise operator would likely remedy the harm created by the acquisition.

Under the agreement announced today, Hornblower has agreed to:

  • Immediately permit a new competitor to enter the New York City dining cruise market: Hornblower has agreed to immediately permit Cornucopia to pick up and drop off dining cruise passengers at Pier 40 in Manhattan.
  • Divest prime Manhattan dock space to a new competitor: Hornblower has agreed to sub-permit 600 linear feet of dock space, and several thousand square feet of interior space at Pier 40 in Manhattan. 

These commitments ensure that Cornucopia will be able to compete on a level playing field in the New York City dining cruise market. Hornblower has also agreed to the appointment of a trustee, if necessary, to ensure compliance with the terms of the settlement. 

This matter was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Bryan Bloom and Amy McFarlane, as well as Deputy Bureau Chief Elinor Hoffmann and Bureau Chief Beau Buffier — all of the Antitrust Bureau. The Antitrust Bureau is overseen by Chief Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Christopher D’Angelo and First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.

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