Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Merlin scares rival operator into out-of-court settlement

Merlin Entertainments is to receive a “substantial” compensation payment from the London Bridge Experience (LBE) following objections about tactics used against its nearby scare attraction The London Dungeon.

The two parties reached an out of court settlement last month after Merlin complained about “unlawful business practices,” breach of intellectual property rights and intimidation by LBE staff. The competing facility, which incorporates a walk-through attraction called the London Tombs, opened in February 2008.

Operators Danny and Lee Scriven have also agreed to the following conditions as part of their settlement with Merlin:

-To restrict their leafleting or soliciting of people in The London Dungeon queue.

-Not to prevent, obstruct or seek to discourage people from joining The London Dungeon queue.

-Not to use intimidating or threatening behaviour towards the public or London Dungeon staff.

-Not to make false, misleading, disparaging or derogatory statements, comparisons or representations about The London Dungeon;

-Not to represent to any person that there is any connection between LBE and The London Dungeon.

“We passionately believe in fair competition, and we operate in very competitive circumstances around the world,” says Glenn Earlam, Merlin’s managing director of ‘midway’ attractions. “However, the sort of activity undertaken by LBE was totally unacceptable. Merlin has invested significant resources over many years in creating the Dungeon concept and has built an enviable reputation for the brand, which has an unrivalled reputation among its core teen constituency.

“The settlement of this litigation by LBE paying compensation, legal fees and providing legally binding undertakings is full justification for the action we took to protect our brand. It should serve as a warning that Merlin will fiercely defend its brands wherever they come under attack.”

Pictured below: The London Bridge Experience – NOT the London Dungeon

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