Eurotunnel to Sell Ferry Business as UK Court Upholds Operating Ban
France’s Groupe Eurotunnel SA has decided to look for a buyer for its MyFerryLink business after the U.K.’s Competition Appeal Tribunal upheld the Competition and Markets Authority’s decision to block the company from operating cross-channel sailings between Dover and Calais.
Today’s court ruling says that the company is to cease operating the route within the next six months.
According to CMA’s original ruling, Eurotunnel’s acquisition of SeaFrance back in June 2012 constituted a merger, and not a mere purchase of ships. CMA blocked Eurotunnel from operating the Dover-Calais ferry route for a period of ten years.
However, Eurotunnel says that it ”acquired the assets of the defunct company, SeaFrance, in June 2012 following an open and public process.” The company subcontracted the operation of the ferries Rodin, Berlioz and Nord-Pas-de-Calais to an independent company, the SCOP SeaFrance, according to a statement issued by the company.
”This decision is illogical. It reduces competition across the short straits and it is contrary to the interests of free trade. The CAT is forcing Groupe Eurotunnel to withdraw from this activity,” said Eurotunnel in a statement.