Decision Nº M/04/016 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2004-04-05

CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ire)
PartiesStena,P&O
Date05 April 2004
Decision Date05 April 2004
StatusCleared with agreed measures (Phase 1)
Decision NumberM/04/016
Determination No. M/04/016 of the Competition Authority, dated 5th April 2004,
Notification No. M/04/016 – Acquisition by Stena of P&O’s Fleetwood-Larne
route ferry business, together with P&O’s two vessels deployed on its Mostyn-
Dublin route ferry business.
Introduction
1. On 19th March 2004, the Competition Authority, in accordance with Section 18
(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“the Act”) was notified, on a mandatory basis,
of a proposal whereby Stena AB (“Stena”) would acquire all of the assets of the
Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (“P&O)” relating to P&O’s
ferry business between the Irish Sea ports of Larne, in Northern Ireland, and
Fleetwood, in Great Britain. Further, Stena proposes to acquire P&O’s two
vessels currently deployed by P&O on its ferry business between the Irish Sea
ports of Dublin and Mostyn. These acquisitions are hereinafter collectively
described as “the proposed transaction”.
2. Previously, on 7th November 2003, the Authority was notified of an earlier
proposed acquisition by Stena of certain assets of P&O (Notification No.
M/03/035). The Authority proceeded to full investigation in that matter in
December 2003. That agreement was abandoned, and the notification was
formally withdrawn, in February 2004, before the Authority had made a final
determination. The Authority, in examining the present proposed transaction,
considered information that had been provided by Stena and P&O and gathered
through third party submissions and market enquiries in the course of examining
Notification No. M/03/035. This was done with the consent of the notifying
parties.
The Parties
3. Stena comprises a number of businesses in shipping and related fields. Stena’s
principal activities include the operation of ferry services between Great Britain
and the island of Ireland and the operation of Irish ports. It has passenger and
freight services on the following routes: (i) Rosslare-Fishguard, (ii) Dublin-
Holyhead, (iii) Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead and (iv) Belfast-Stranraer. Stena owns
ports at Holyhead and Stranraer, and holds a 50% interest in the Fishguard and
Rosslare Railways and Harbours Company, which owns the ports at Rosslare and
Fishguard.
4. P&O is a worldwide transport company. P&O’s principal activities include the
operation of ferry services between the island of Ireland and Great Britain and
between the island of Ireland and the Continent, and operation of Irish ports. It
has passenger and freight services on the following routes: (i) Larne-Fleetwood,
(ii) Larne-Cairnryan, (iii) Dublin-Liverpool, (iv) Dublin-Mostyn, (v) Larne-
Troon, (vi) Rosslare-Cherbourg, and (vii) Dublin-Cherbourg. P&O owns ports at
Cairnryan and Larne.
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