Bid to keep ferries by Eurotunnel

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The Independent Online

Eurotunnel has set out its defence against a Competition Commission ruling that it should sell the ferries business it bought from collapsed operator SeaFrance.

The commission said last month that passengers could face higher prices due to the €65m (£56m) acquisition by Eurotunnel, owner of the Channel Tunnel rail link.

But Eurotunnel yesterday sarcastically hit back that it was "surprised to find that, in order to maintain competition, it is first necessary that one operator disappear from the market". Eurotunnel claimed that a forced sale of its ferries business could be illegal.

The company said that the Paris Commercial Court, which organised the auction for SeaFrance's assets, "included a prohibition on the sale or any form of alienation of the ships in order to protect jobs".