Eurotunnel ferry link has ban overturned


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Eurotunnel’s MyFerryLink will continue to operate between Dover and Calais after winning a legal battle to overturn a ban

The Court of Appeal upheld the case made by the French workers’ union Société Coopérative de Production SeaFrance (Scop), against the closure of the cross-Channel ferry service.

The decision comes five months after Eurotunnel was told it must quit the cross-Channel ferry market following a ruling by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

Eurotunnel bought three ships from SeaFrance after it went bust in 2012, and MyFerryLink operates up to 16 daily crossings on the Dover-Calais route.

But there was an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into Eurotunnel’s ownership of the service. In June last year it ruled that MyFerryLink should be barred from operating on the route.

The CMA claimed Eurotunnel had more than half the market share of Channel crossings when its rail link was taken into consideration.

Scop got permission from the Court of Appeal to challenge the ban in February, and yesterday the judges overturned the decision by a majority of two to one.

Raphael Doutrebente of MyFerryLink said: “The decision ... is very comprehensive, exposing fatal flaws in the CMA’s analysis. The decision represents a significant victory both for our dedicated employees and for our customers, who will continue to benefit from healthy competition on the route.”

The CMA said it will study the judgment and consider its next steps.