Eurotunnel Group defends the logic of its maritime activity MyFerryLink
The Competition Commission has stated in its Provisional Findings that Groupe Eurotunnel’s new maritime proposition could lead to a reduction in competition across the Channel and has provisionally concluded that it will be necessary that MyFerryLink is withdrawn from the market.
Groupe Eurotunnel contests this analysis and has today sent its own observations, which are summarized below, to the Competition Commission.
- Groupe Eurotunnel is surprised to find that, in order to maintain competition, it is first necessary that one operator disappear from the market.
- Following the liquidation of SeaFrance, Groupe Eurotunnel took part in an open and transparent tender process for the assets of the defunct company, organized by the Paris Commercial Court. Groupe Eurotunnel put forward the best offer.
- Following an in depth analysis by the French Competition Authorities, the acquisition was approved with certain restrictions, in particular the requirement not to market a bundle of Tunnel/Ferry options.
- Groupe Eurotunnel considers the maritime activities of MyFerryLink to be complementary to those of Le Shuttle, particularly with regard to traffic which cannot be transported through the Tunnel, and to offer an alternative to its customers in the event of its own infrastructure being unavailable.
- Groupe Eurotunnel does not envisage the activity putting the two incumbent operators at risk1.
- DFDS has recently stated that it has multiplied its activity in the short straits by 6 and has, in the press, confirmed its long term commitment to the market
- MyFerryLink currently represents 4% of the Dover-Continent truck market, compared to 32% for P&O and 22.4% for DFDS.
- In contrast to the Competition Commission, Groupe Eurotunnel considers that it has increased competition in the ferry market. Maintaining MyFerryLink, which is targeting a market share of just 8%, in the short straits market, can only be positive for customers who have, in research conducted by the Competition Commission itself, declared their satisfaction with the arrival of a new competitor.
- The Paris Commercial Court included, in the sale agreement for the SeaFrance assets, a prohibition on the sale or any form of alienation of the ships in order to protect the jobs created by the establishment of the new company in both France and the UK.
- Groupe Eurotunnel is confident that the Competition Commission will not prescribe restrictions which would be disproportionate or legally inapplicable.
- As a reminder, the Group P&O has achieved a turnover of € 313.5 million in 2012 and DFDS a turnover of $ 2 billion in 2012