In May, the two ferry companies concluded an agreement on the Dover-Calais route, in an attempt to reduce waiting times for freight customers. The agreement was also intended to help improve traffic flow on the UK-EU trade route. However, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) confirmed on Friday morning that it will now investigate the deal.
The CMA stated that it is examining whether the agreement ‘may prevent, restrict or distort competition within the UK’.
P&O Ferries operates five vessels on the Dover-Calais route, while the Danish-based operator DFDS operates three. In May, the companies stated that the agreement would be limited to freight transport between Dover and Calais and would not be extended to the Dover-Dunkirk route operated by DFDS.
Together, the two lines transport more than 2.5 million lorries across the English Channel each year, making it by far the busiest trade route between the UK and Europe, the companies say.