Eurotunnel’s SeaFrance bid goes to competition regulators


Eurotunnel’s operation of three ex-SeaFrance vessels and routes is to be taken to the Competition Commission (CC) after the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) raised concerns over its impact on cross channel services.

Details of another buyer have raised the issues with the OFT as it marked P&O as its only competitor on the Dover to Calais route. OFT said the merger could see prices increase.

A report by the CC is expected to be released in April 2014. Eurotunnel commenced services between the ports Calais in August under ‘MyFerryLink’ using SeaFrance’s old vessels after the company collapsed in April.

“We are concerned that the merger could further strengthen Eurotunnel’s position in the market for cross channel transport and prices could go up as a result. As such, we believe it is appropriate that the Competition Commission reviews this merger in detail to ensure that the interests of consumers and industry are protected,” explained Amelia Fletcher, chief economist and decision market in the case at OFT.

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