UK: Eurotunnel blindsided by CMA ruling

Eurotunnel said it was “astonished” at the decision by the Competition and Markets Authority that officials prohibits the ferry service from operating on certain routes.

The CMA maintained its stance on the Eurotunnel routes between Dover and Calais even after the Competition Appeal Tribunal ordered regulators to take another look at the decision. The former Competition Commission ruled last year that Eurotunnel must cease operations on the route because it gave Eurotunnel too much market share; according to the CMA, Eurotunnel holds 37 percent of the market for short-strait ferry routes.

The assets were acquired by Eurotunnel from defunct rival SeaFrance.

The Tribunal overturned that ruling last December, ordering authorities to reexamine whether Eurotunnel’s acquisition of SeaFrance assets was considered an acquisition of three ships or an acquisition of a business.

But in a ruling announced Friday, the CMA said that a merger situation applies in this case and has maintained the Commission’s original stance on the matter.

”The decision is a denial of the reality of the situation,” Eurotunnel CEO Jacques Gounon said in a statement following the CMA’s announcement. “It penalizes the consumer and puts 600 people out of work without any real justification.”

Eurotunnel vowed to appeal the decision, which ordered the company to cease the services in question within six months.

Full content: Bloomberg

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