TMCNet:  Competition: Ruling bars Eurotunnel ferries from Dover

[May 21, 2014]

Competition: Ruling bars Eurotunnel ferries from Dover

(Guardian (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Eurotunnel has vowed it will continue fighting to run cross-Channel ferries after competition authorities upheld a decision to bar its boats from Dover.

The ruling is likely to force Eurotunnel to end its MyFerryLink service before the end of the year.

After Eurotunnel appealed against the June 2013 verdict from the Competition Commission, its replacement as regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has confirmed that allowing the Channel Tunnel operator to run a ferry service would give it a majority of the local cross-Channel market and lead to higher fares. Eurotunnel said the market had materially changed and accused the new regulator of simply seeking to justify the original analysis.

Alasdair Smith, of the CMA, said: "MyFerryLink is making losses and being funded by Eurotunnel. This is causing the current level of competition . . . to be unsustainable and is likely to lead to the exit of a competitor. The interest of cross-Channel customers, both passengers and freight, will not be well served if Eurotunnel ends up as one of only two ferry operators in addition to owning the competing rail link." Gwyn Topham (c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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