MyFerryLink today successfully appealed against a ruling aimed at banning the Eurotunnel-owned ferry service from the Dover-Calais route.
The Court of Appeal upheld the appeal by SCOP, the workers’ collective operating the cross-Channel service, by a two to one majority.
MyFerryLink said it had secured a “momentous victory” which vindicated its decision to continue the battle against the Competition and Market Authority’s attempts to prohibit its operations between Dover and Calais.
The company was told in January that it must quit the cross-Channel ferry market following a ruling by the Competition Appeal Tribunal which upheld a banning order made by the CMA.
The CMA previously considered that it had jurisdiction over Eurotunnel's acquisition of assets from the former SeaFrance under UK merger control laws and, following a review, that it could prohibit MyFerryLink’s ferries from operating out of the port of Dover.
However, following a series of legal challenges led by SCOP, the Court of Appeal has now “definitively over-turned” the CMA's conclusions.
The CMA said: “The CMA notes today’s judgment by the Court of Appeal upholding a challenge to its ability to bar Eurotunnel from running its MyFerryLink service out of Dover.
“The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will study the judgment carefully and consider its next steps.”
A MyFerryLink spokesman said: "The decision of the Court of Appeal is very comprehensive, exposing fatal flaws in the CMA's analysis.
“The decision represents a significant victory both for our dedicated employees and for our customers, who will continue to benefit from healthy competition on the short sea route.
“This should now spell the end of the road for the CMA's attempts to suppress the MyFerryLink business, which has always sought to deliver a high quality and reliable service for its customers."
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