Eurotunnel cross-Channel ferries 'anti-competitive'

MyFerryLink ship Ferry services under Eurotunnel's MyFerryLink brand began in August last year

Related Stories

Passengers and freight firms could face higher fares as a result of Eurotunnel running its own ferry services between Dover and Calais, a watchdog has said.

The Competition Commission has warned the Channel tunnel operator's ownership of MyFerryLink may be anti-competitive.

Eurotunnel bought three ships from operator SeaFrance after it went into liquidation to run the service.

The company said it would challenge the provisional findings of the Competition Commission.

P&O Ferries and DFDS also run ferries on the Dover to Calais route, but the commission said it believed it would be better if there were two independent ferry companies competing with the tunnel.

SeaFrance, which was owned by French state-owned rail firm SNCF, went into liquidation in November 2011. Eurotunnel bought three of its four ferries for £52m last year.

Sell business

The commission claimed Eurotunnel, which now runs 16 ferry crossings a day, bought the boats to prevent Danish rival DFDS from picking them up cheaply and driving down prices.

The commission said Eurotunnel may have to sell or dispose of the business to address its concerns.

Conservative MP for Dover and Deal, Charlie Elphicke, welcomed the report.

"Clearly (Eurotunnel) should sell the ships," he said. "They should go back to running the tunnel, which they do very well.

"They should get out of the ferry market and they should allow open competition without them trying to get too much market share."

Eurotunnel accused existing operators of using the commission process to protect their own interests.

It said its new brand, MyFerryLink, increased competition and brought more choice for customers.

"Eurotunnel intends to continue to work with the Competition Commission to allay the concerns raised by existing ferry operators and to demonstrate that the creation of MyFerryLink is a good thing for the market as it is both pro-customer and pro-competition," said chief executive Jacques Gounon.

The Competition Commission is expected to publish its final report on 14 April.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Kent



Min. Night 2 °C

Features & Analysis

  • BeefaloBeefalo hunt

    The hybrid animal causing havoc in the Grand Canyon

  • Blow torchTorch of hope Watch

    An ancient art form helps troubled youth pick up the pieces

  • This Chinese character has taken China's internet by stormDuang duang duang

    How a new word 'broke the Chinese internet'

  • Don Roberto Placa Quiet Don

    The world's worst interview - with one of the loneliest men on Earth

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • StudentsBull market

    Employers are snapping up students with this desirable degree


  • 3D model of Christ the Redeemer statueClick Watch

    Using drones to 3D map the famous Brazilian landmark Christ the Redeemer

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.