Decision Nº M/03/035 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2003-12-03

Date03 December 2003
Decision NumberM/03/035
CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ireland)
Decision Date03 December 2003
17th February 2004
Stena’s proposed acquisition of P&O’s assets on the Irish
Sea formally withdrawn
The Competition Authority announced today (17th February) that the
proposed acquisition by Stena of P&O’s Dublin/Liverpool and Larne/Fleetwood
routes on the Irish sea has been formally withdrawn by the parties. As part
of the transaction P&O was due to close its Dublin/Mostyn service. As a
result of the parties’ action, the Authority will not proceed to issue a final
determination on the matter.
Since 4th December 2004, the Authority has undertaken a full investigation of
the proposed transaction. Based on extensive information obtained from
customers, port authorities, competitors and other interested parties, a
detailed Assessment was issued to the parties on 26th January 2004. The
Assessment identified serious competitive concerns on the Dublin/Liverpool
and Dublin/Mostyn routes. The Authority was concerned that the transaction
could raise the prices of freight and transport services for goods shipped via
ferry to and from Ireland to the detriment of Irish businesses and consumers.
The withdrawal of the notice to the Authority was preceded by a decision by
the UK Competition Commission on 5th February 2004 that it was not
allowing the transaction under similar UK merger legislation.
The Competition Authority was notified of the proposed acquisition on 7th
November 2003. After a preliminary investigation lasting one month (Phase
1) the Authority was unable to conclude, without further investigation, that
the transaction would not substantially lessen competition. The Competition
Authority announced on 4th December that it would carry out a full
investigation (Phase 2) in relation to the proposed acquisition.
For further information contact:
Mark Garrett, Communications Manager, The Competition Authority
Tel: 01 8045406 Mobile: 086 601 9655 email:

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