UK competition regulator confirms ban on Eurotunnel ferries

LONDON, June 27 Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:22am EDT

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LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) - Britain's competition regulator said a ban on Groupe Eurotunnel, the operator of the undersea rail link between Britain and France, from operating a cross-channel ferry service should remain, confirming a decision it made in May.

Groupe Eurotunnel operator started to operate services on the Dover-Calais crossing in 2012 under the MyFerryLink brand when it acquired three ferries from the now-defunct SeaFrance.

"Eurotunnel will be given six months to stop running services from the date of an order to that effect. It could also find another owner for the MyFerryLink business, if that made MyFerryLink completely independent of Eurotunnel," the Competition and Markets Authority said on Friday.

The regulator repeated its justification that with two of the operators on the ferry route running at a loss, the current level of competition was not sustainable and could lead to the exit of a competitor.

Danish ferry operator DFDS, which operate ferries on the route, said it was losing between 8-10 million Danish crowns ($1.47-$1.84 million) a month as a result of MyFerryLink. (Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton)

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