UK Government

Competition Commission (National): Stena/DFDS merger inquiry

Press Release   •   Feb 10, 2011 11:04 GMT

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has referred Stena AB’s completed acquisition of two Irish Sea ferry services from DFDS A/S to the Competition Commission (CC).

The acquisition by Stena of assets and vessels on the Liverpool–Belfast and Heysham–Belfast routes was completed on 1 December 2010. Stena announced that it was closing its competing Fleetwood–Larne route the next day.

The CC has been asked to decide whether the acquisition has resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets in the UK for goods or services, including the supply of freight ferry services between the north-west of England and Northern Ireland (the ‘diagonal routes’).

The CC is expected to report by 25 July 2011.

The CC would like to hear from all interested parties, in writing, by 1 March 2011. To submit evidence, please email or write to:

Inquiry Manager

Stena/DFDS merger inquiry

Competition Commission

Victoria House

Southampton Row


Notes to editors

1. The CC is an independent public body, which carries out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries.

2. The Enterprise Act 2002 empowers the OFT to refer to the CC completed or proposed mergers for investigation and report which create or enhance a 25 per cent share of supply in the UK (or a substantial part thereof) or where the UK turnover associated with the enterprise being acquired is over £70 million.

3. The CC has a 24-week period in which it is required to publish its report, which may be extended by no more than eight weeks if it considers that there are special reasons why the report cannot be published within that period.

4. Further information on this inquiry, including the terms of reference and other key documents, as well as on the CC and its procedures, including its policy on the provision of information and the disclosure of evidence, can be obtained from the CC website

5. Enquiries should be directed to Rory Taylor or Siobhan Allen or by telephoning 020 7271 0242.


NDS Enquiries 
Phone: For enquiries please contact the issuing dept