Société Cooperative de Production Sea France SA v Competition and Market Authority – Court of Appeal

15 May 2015 | by Tamara Obeng

The Court of Appeal has by a majority today upheld the SCOP’s challenge to the CMA’s remitted decision in the Eurotunnel / Sea France investigation. The challenge related to a decision made by the CMA in June 2014 that it has jurisdiction to consider the acquisition of certain assets of Sea France by Eurotunnel under its merger control powers. That decision followed earlier proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal in which the Tribunal partially upheld the SCOP’s challenge to an earlier finding of jurisdiction by the then Competition Commission in June 2013, and remitted the issue to the CMA for further consideration.

The SCOP’s challenge to the CMA’s remitted decision was dismissed by the Tribunal in January 2015 but the Court of Appeal granted permission for an expedited appeal which was heard in March 2015.

The Court of Appeal has today allowed the SCOP’s appeal (Tomlinson LJ and Sir Colin Rimer, Arden LJ dissenting). The majority concluded that the CMA’s decision that Eurotunnel and the SCOP acquired the activities of Sea France was irrational.

Please click here to view the full Société Cooperative de Production Sea France SA v Competition and Market Authority – Court of Appeal judgment.

The SCOP was represented by Daniel Beard QC and Rob Williams instructed by RPC.

The CMA was represented by Paul Harris QC and Ben Rayment.

Meredith Pickford QC and Ligia Osepciu represented DFDS AS which intervened in the proceedings in the CAT and the Court of Appeal, instructed by Hogan Lovells.