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  • 2022 August 5 17:23

    UK authorities give green light to the sharing agreement between P&O Ferries and DFDS

    The CMA has accepted commitments, under the Competition Act 1998, offered by P&O Ferries Holdings Limited and DFDS A/S that address the CMA’s competition concerns regarding a capacity sharing agreement for freight on the Dover-Calais route, according to GOV. UK.

    On 5 August 2022, the CMA published its decision to accept commitments from DFDS A/S and P&O Ferries Holdings Limited that address the CMA’s competition concerns regarding a capacity sharing agreement for driver-accompanied freight shipments on the Dover-Calais route.

    On 11 November 2021, the CMA launched an investigation under Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 into an agreement between P&O Ferries Holdings Limited and DFDS A/S to share capacity with respect to driver-accompanied freight shipments on the Dover-Calais route.

    On 13 June 2022 the CMA announced that it was giving notice of its intention to accept commitments in this investigation, and consulted on that. In the notice the CMA explained that the agreement provides a ‘turn up and go’ function for freight customers at the Dover and Calais ports, allowing them to take the next available ferry regardless of which of the two operators they booked with.

    The agreement aims to reduce overall journey times and congestion at ports for freight customers, while also potentially providing broader benefits for supply bottlenecks and the wider economy.

    To address the CMA’s concerns that certain aspects of the agreement might prevent, restrict or distort competition, the companies offered to commit to the CMA to:
     not agree with one another the number of sailings that each company operates;
     put strict limits on the number of sailings that they may cancel; and
     amend the agreement to make clear that it does not fix the amount of freight customers that either company may carry.

    The CMA decided to accept such commitments, subject to an additional obligation on the parties: the parties agreed to appoint a monitoring trustee to oversee compliance with the commitment regarding the cancellation of sailings.

    Formal acceptance of commitments by the CMA brings the investigation to an end, with no decision being made as to whether or not the Competition Act 1998 has been infringed.








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