English Channel Ferry Operation Ban Overturned, For Now ...
The European Union Competition Appeal Tribunal has overturned a Competition Commission ruling that MyFerryLink, which operates leased ex-Sea France ferries from Groupe Eurotunnel, must stop running its services, reports Maritime London.
However, the judgment was based on arguments of jurisdiction and not the substance of the competition arguments so the Competition Commission will now re-examine the case.
Jacques Gounon, chairman and chief executive officer of Groupe Eurotunnel, stated: “This is a victory for the consumer. We are delighted by the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s decision which recognizes the benefits and practicalities of our presence in the maritime cross-Channel market”
MyFerryLink is run by a co-operative of former SeaFrance staff which has been partly funded by their redundancy pay-offs.
After the ruling, MyFerryLink UK managing director, Robin Wilkins told customers that bookings are safe and the company’s ferries will continue to operate as usual.
The Competition Commission said in a statement: “We have been supported by the [tribunal] on many of the grounds on which the challenge was made – such as fairness of process, assessment of evidence and the choice of remedy. Where the tribunal has found against us is on a legal point relating to the unusual circumstances of the acquisition, namely whether Eurotunnel had acquired an asset or an enterprise. We will now study the judgment carefully and consider how best to address the issue.”
Source: Maritme London