Eurotunnel / SeaFrance merger inquiry

The Competition Commission investigated the completed acquisition by Groupe Eurotunnel SA of certain assets of SeaFrance SA.

Update 20 January 2016

On 19 January, the Supreme Court made its order in the form agreed by the CMA and Groupe Eurotunnel. The effect of the Supreme Court’s order is to reinstate the CMA’s remedy order. The CMA will consider any requests it receives from Groupe Eurotunnel to vary the CMA’s remedy order (including in relation to the Nord Pas de Calais freight vessel).

Update 18 December 2015

Following the Supreme Court judgment on 16 December 2015 upholding the CMA’s appeal, the CMA has started work towards agreeing with Groupe Eurotunnel next steps and the form of the Supreme Court order. Should this result in the restoration of the final remedy order, then the CMA would consider any requests it receives from Groupe Eurotunnel to vary that order (including in relation to the Nord Pas de Calais freight vessel) in the light of any change of circumstances since it was put in place in September 2014.

Administrative timetable

  • Phase 2 timetable published on 3 April 2013, as required by Rule 6 of the Competition Commission Rules of Procedure
  • Remittal timetable published on 8 January 2014, revised 24 February 2014, revised 28 April 2014
  • Any revisions made to the timetable will be published on this website
Remittal Action
Mid-June 2014 Target date for final decisions on the remitted issue (jurisdiction) and MCC
End May 2014 Final deadline for all parties’ responses/submissions
Mid-May 2014 CMA publishes provisional consideration of possible MCC
Early to mid April 2014 Hearings on provisional findings and MCC
Early April 2014 Closing dates for submissions on MCC and responses to provisional findings on the remitted issue (jurisdiction)
Mid March 2014 CC provisional findings on remitted issue (jurisdiction), and publication of notice inviting comments on material change of circumstances (MCC) since original report
22 January 2014 Closing date for written comments on the remitted issue (jurisdiction)
8 January 2014 CC published Conduct of Remittal Notice
4 December 2013 Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) judgment remitting jurisdiction decision to the CC
Phase 2 Action
6 June 2013 Competition Commission (CC) published report giving decision on the acquisition
9 June 2013 Extended statutory deadline
May Publish final report
February to April Consider possible remedies and response hearing(s)
Early to mid-February Notifying provisional findings
25 January 2013 Deadline for all parties’ responses/submissions required before provisional findings
Mid- to late January Verifying information, considering provisional findings
Early to mid-January Main party hearings
Late November to early December Publish issues statement
November to December Gathering information, issuing questionnaires, third party hearings
29 October 2012 Merger reference made

Timetable revision: 28 April 2014

On 21 March 2014 we published our provisional decision on the remitted question. We provisionally decided that the associated persons, Eurotunnel and the SCOP, had acquired an ‘enterprise’ and therefore that we had jurisdiction under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act). Given that more than nine months elapsed since the publication of our report and this provisional decision, we invited comments on whether or not there had been a material change of circumstances since the publication of our report. We received submissions from a number of parties that there had been such changes. In light of these submissions we have extended the timetable by a number of weeks to carry out an assessment of whether or not it is still appropriate to remedy the effects of the merger as envisaged in our original report (as required under section 41(3) of the Act).

Section 41(3) of the Enterprise Act requires us to ensure that our decision on remedies shall be consistent with our Report unless there has been a material change of circumstances since the preparation of the Report or we otherwise have a special reason for deciding differently.


Date of remittal: 04.12.13

Decisions on appeal


18 September 2014: Following consultation, the CMA has published its Order covering the remedies as set out in the final decision.

23 July 2014: The CMA is consulting on a draft order covering the remedies as set out in the final decision.

Final decision on the remitted issue (jurisdiction) and MCC

27 June 2014:The CMA has published its final report, confirming that it has jurisdiction over Eurotunnel’s acquisition of three ferries and related assets that previously belonged to the ferry operator SeaFrance and that developments in the market since the Competition Commission’s (CC) original decision in June 2013 do not provide any reason to change that decision.

Provisional consideration of possible material changes of circumstances

Published 20.05.14.

The CMA has published its provisional consideration on whether there has been a material change of circumstance since its original report of June 2013 (available under ‘Core documents’ below); see also the Provisional Findings on the remitted question March 2014 (under ‘Core documents – Remittal’ below).

Evidence - Remittal

Responses to provisional consideration of possible material change of circumstances

Summaries of hearings held with third parties

Responses to remittal provisional findings

Responses to invitation to comment on material change of circumstances

Responses to conduct of the remittal

Background information to the remittal

Core documents - Remittal

Phase 2

Date of referral: 29.10.12 Statutory deadline: 09.06.13





Responses to provisional findings and notice of possible remedies

Summaries of hearings held with third parties

Responses to issues statement

Initial submissions

News releases

Core documents

Phase 1

Groupe Eurotunnel / Seafrance


29 October 2012 - Reference

Affected market: Cross channel passenger/freight services

SIC code: 61.10/1

Initial undertakings

Case opened

Name of acquirer: Groupe Eurotunnel S.A.

Description of merger: Completed acquisition by Groupe Eurotunnel SA of certain assets of SeaFrance S.A.

Date original undertakings accepted: 12/07/2012

Companies giving undertakings: Groupe Eurotunnel S.A.

Nature of undertakings: Initial Undertakings given under Section 71 Enterprise Act 2002

SIC code: 61.1

Case reference: ME/5570/12

Published 25 January 2016