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Eurotunnel leaves the English Channel to DFDS and P&O

The British Competition Appeal Tribunal rejects Eurotunnel's appeal of the ban against the company's ferry operations on the English Channel. Now, Eurotunnel looks for candidates to acquire the company's ferry activities.

Photo: Carsten Bundgaard

On Friday the British Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) rejected French Eurotunnel and SCOP's (Société Coopérative de Production Sea France S.A.) appeal of the decision to bar Eurotunnel from operating ferries between Dover and Calais on the English Channel through carrier MyFerryLink, says DFDS in a statement.

The two companies now have a short period to seek consent from the CAT to appeal the decision to the UK Court of Appeal, though this will likely not happen.

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In a statement on Friday, Eurotunnel informs that the company is now looking for candidates to acquire the company's ferry activities, and thus initiated the process of withdrawing from ferry operations on the English Channel.

As such, a protracted and long-term price war between MyFerryLink and DFDS seems to draw to a close - a price war that DFDS CEO Niels Smedegaard at one point described as a bloodbath. The Danish shipping and logistics company has allegedly lost up to USD 1.6 million a month since the three MyFerryLink ferries were deployed on the Channel.

Future decided outside

MyFerryLink was built on bankrupt SeaFrance, from which Eurotunnel acquired three ferries in 2012 and deployed them on the Channel under the MyFerryLink brand.

DFDS has been working with British P&O since then to stop MyFerryLink's activities, and numerous competition authorities have ruled in favor of the two carriers, stating that Eurotunnel should be barred from operating ferries on the Channel due to the French company's capacity as tunnel operator - a factor that gives a market share of more than 50 percent on the Channel.

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Eurotunnel CEO Jacques Gounon has the following comment after the decision:

"MyFerryLink is an operating and commercial success. We are proud to have succeeded where so many others have failed. Given the position of the British authorities, the future of MyFerryLink will now be determined outside the Group."

The DFDS share increased around two percent on the stock exchange following the announcement.

The English Channel dispute will be settled on Friday

Eurotunnel considering quick exit following DFDS defeat

DFDS beat everyone in transport and shipping in 2014

Eurotunnel: We want to see the final decision 

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