LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) – Ferries owned by Groupe Eurotunnel and run under the MyFerryLink brand can continue to run between Britain and France after a British court upheld an appeal from a workers’ collective which runs run the ferries.
Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been examining Eurotunnel’s move into the ferry market since late 2012, and a tribunal earlier this year ruled that Eurotunnel should cease its MyFerryLink operations.
But by a two-to-one majority decision, the Court of Appeal on Friday upheld the appeal by the Societe Cooperative de Production de SeaFrance, the workers’ collective involved in running the ferries.
A spokesman for Eurotunnel said the company was studying whether the latest decision enabled it to continue to operate MyFerryLink beyond a July 9 deadline set by UK regulators.
The CMA will now consider whether to launch an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Eurotunnel had said in January it would sell the ferries, having owned three ferries which travel the Dover-Calais crossing since 2012, when it bought them from the now-defunct SeaFrance.
The deal added to its presence on the cross-Channel route, where it is operator of the Channel Tunnel, carrying Eurostar high-speed trains between Paris, Brussels and London, as well as shuttle trains containing passenger cars, coaches and freight trucks.
As well as MyFerryLink, Denmark’s DFDS and P&O Ferries also run boats on the Dover-Calais crossing.
DFDS said it was “highly surprised” by the ruling and would consider its options for appealing the decision. (Reporting by Sarah Young; Additional reporting by Pascale Denis in Paris; Editing by Mark Potter)
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