UK Markets closed

Competition watchdog probes P&O Ferries deal on Dover to Calais route

·1-min read
A P&O Ferry  (PA Archive)
A P&O Ferry (PA Archive)

The UK’s competition watchdog has opened an investigation into a capacity sharing agreement between P&O Ferries and a Danish partner on the Dover to Calais route.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was investigating whether the arrangement between P&O and DFDS “has potential to prevent, restrict or distort competition within the UK.”

The two ferry operators entered a mutual space charter agreement in May to try and shorten freight customers’ waiting times and improve the flow of traffic on the trade route between the UK and EU.

The agreement means freight drivers can board the next available boat when they arrive at the Port of Dover or the Port of Calais, regardless of which of the two companies is operating it. The companies said at the time the deal was struck that the arrangement could cut waiting times by up to 30 minutes.

P&O Ferries operates five vessels on the Dover to Calais route and Denmark-based operator DFDS runs three.

Between them, P&O and DFDS transport 2.5 million lorries across the Channel each year, making it the busiest trade route between the UK and EU.

P&O declined to comment.

A spokesperson for DFDS said: “A cooperation between two competitors may always attract attention. We believe that the agreement will cut down waiting times for our customers and reduce queues in the ports.

“The CMA has not reached any conclusions at this stage as to whether or not competition law has been infringed and has an open mind at this point. We will of course cooperate with the CMA and provide all required documentation.”

Read More

FTSE 100 Live: AstraZeneca sees Covid jab profit, shares slide

Johnson & Johnson follows GSK with plan to split into two standalone firms

Chuka Umunna interview: From rising star Labour MP to ethical banker

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting