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MyFerryLink vows to fight UK ban

But appeal decision may not come through in time to prevent cross-channel service ceasing, warns CEO

21 July 2014

EUROTUNNEL has confirmed it will appeal against a ruling by the UK competition watchdog that it should close cross-channel ferry service MyFerryLink by the end of the year.

But Eurotunnel’s CEO Jacques Gounon warned that the appeal might not come in time to prevent the company from having to cease operations at the end of the year.

Mr Gounon said that although MyFerryLink “has a good chance to win” on appeal, it is likely that any decision would only made after the expiry of the six months the company has been allowed to wind down its services.

He was speaking as Eurotunnel published its interim results.

As reported, Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) upheld a disputed ruling made by its predecessor the Competition Commission that MyFerryLink’s Dover to Calais service was bad for the cross-Channel ferry market as it could lead to another company closing.

MyFerryLink had, in December 2013, won a court appeal against the original decision.

Publishing its interim results, Eurotunnel described MyFerryLink – which runs the former SeaFrance ferries between Calais and Dover – as a “credible alternative” in the cross-channel market.

In its report, Eurotunnel said: “It is on behalf of the customers who are attracted in significant numbers to the quality service offered by this maritime operator that Eurotunnel is appealing the prohibition, decreed by the CMA, from operating out of Dover.

“This decision, if it is confirmed, would lead immediately to a reduction in consumer choice across the Channel and would probably increase prices for consumers.”

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