The Competition and Markets Authority last night confirmed it will seek permission to appeal following last week's Court of Appeal judgment in the MyFerryLink case.
The ruling upheld a challenge to the CMA’s jurisdiction over Eurotunnel’s acquisition of three ferries and related assets formerly owned by SeaFrance.
The application will be made to the Court of Appeal although if granted the appeal itself would be heard in the Supreme Court.
The CMA will also request that the Court of Appeal suspends the effect of its current order so that Eurotunnel will no longer be barred from running the MyFerryLink service out of Dover from July.
A statement said: “The CMA is concerned to protect the interests of passengers and freight customers given its conclusion that Eurotunnel running a ferry service on the short sea route as well as the competing rail link would damage competition.
“The CMA’s competition assessment was not challenged in the Court of Appeal or in the previous Competition Appeal Tribunal appeal.”
The Court of Appeal last week upheld an appeal by a two to one majority by the SCOP French workers’ collective operating the MyFerryLink Dover-Calais service on behalf of Eurotunnel.
SCOP had argued that when the three ferries were acquired from the defunct SeaFrance in 2012, the companies acquired the three ferries and it should not have been treated as a merger under the UK merger control rules.
The CMA is now also seeking greater legal clarity “for the wider benefit of the UK merger regime” in requesting permission to appeal.
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