Eurotunnel overturns CC decision

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Firm is once again allowed to offer Ferry services

Eurotunnel will be allowed to continue offering ferry services from Dover after a ban by the UK Competition Commission was overturned on appeal.

The channel tunnel operator began operating a ferry route between Dover and Calais in August 2012, but it was banned in June 2013 from operating the service for at least two years amid concern it could dominate the crossing. The Commission will now reconsider the case.

Eurotunnel, which runs the channel rail tunnel, including the Le Shuttle Dover to Calais car rail service, bought three ships from Sea France after it went into liquidation in November 2011. It began leasing them out last summer to the new MyFerryLink service, which is run primarily by former Sea France employees.

The Commission said Eurotunnel bought the ferries in order to make sure that a rival, DFDS/LD, could not buy them cheaply and then drive down the price of cross-channel travel. The watchdog was also concerned that DFDS was likely to be driven off theDovertoCalaisroute, strengthening Eurotunnel’s hand further. P&O Ferries also operates on the route.

Jacques Gounon, Chairman and CEO of Eurotunnel, said: “This is a victory for the consumer. We are delighted by the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s decision which recognizes the benefits and practicalities of our presence in the maritime cross-Channel market”

Robin Wilkins, Managing Director of MyFerryLink, added: “This is a victory for common sense and logic, and an early Christmas present for our 600 employees.”