Groupe Eurotunnel loses Dover-Calais ferry appeal
Groupe Eurotunnel has lost its case at the UK Supreme Court after the competition watchdog banned the Paris-based company’s proposed cross-channel ferry service.
The court reinstated the Competition & Markets Authority’s 2013 ban on Eurotunnel operating ferries between Dover in England and France.
The watchdog blocked the service for two years and set restrictions for another eight.
Eurotunnel recently leased two ferries to rival company DFDS.
“This ruling provides clarity on an important point of law, which will assist in assessing such transactions in future,” said the CMA.
“The CMA will consult relevant parties and seek to work constructively with Eurotunnel and DFDS in order to determine the appropriate next steps.”
Eurotunnel acquired three ferries from French rail operator SNCF’s defunct SeaFrance ferry arm in 2012 with the aim of augmenting its London-to-continent rail service with Dover-to-Calais ship operations.
The company had hoped to restart activity with its last ship, the freight only ferry Nord-Pas-de-Calais, but said in a statement following the ruling that it will offer the ship for sale.
The activities of MyFerryLink ceased on June 29th 2015.
“The Eurotunnel Group is extremely disappointed by this decision as MyFerryLink had proven its capacity to provide a high quality, competitive service.
“MyFerryLink had hoped to restart an activity with the freight only ferry, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, which would have ensured 130 jobs.
“As the decision by the Supreme Court no longer permits this, the Eurotunnel Group will put its last ship, the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, up for sale,” read a statement from the company.