The European Commission granted P&O and Stena Line
a six-year exemption from competition rules to operate a cross-Channel ferry service for passengers and freight. "The Commission's recent investigation has not revealed any valid market changes which could justify forcing P&0 of Britain and Stena Line, a subsidiary of Sweden's Stena Line AB, to undo their alliance," it said.
The new exemption period, which expires on March 7, 2007, will permit P&0 Stena Line to continue competing with Eurotunnel, Sea France, Hoverspeed and NorfolkLine, the Commission said.
The new exemption replaces a three-year exemption that expired March 10. The old exemption, while granted in 1999, had been retroactive to 1998. - (Reuters)