Eurotunnel, the Anglo-French operator of the rail tunnel across the English Channel, warned that it could be forced to eliminate 600 jobs if it loses an appeal against a U.K. order to cease its roll-on, roll-off shipping service between Britain and France.
The U.K. Competition Commission in June said Eurotunnel’s entry into the shipping market would significantly increase its 40 percent share of traffic and boost freight rates.
Eurotunnel entered the main cross-channel ferry route between Dover and Calais in 2012 following its $100 million acquisition of three vessels from SeaFrance, the shipping unit of French rail operator SNCF, which filed for bankruptcy.
If Eurotunnel loses its appeal, CEO Jacques Gounon said the company would have to terminate the contract of 600 members of a workers cooperative that operates its MyFerryLink service.
Separately, Gounon said France and the U.K. plan to reject a demand by European Union regulators to lower its “excessive” charges for freight and passenger trains using the Channel Tunnel.
The EU says an estimated 43 percent of the tunnel’s capacity is unused, in part because of high charges.
The regulator also ruled that a 65-year agreement reserving 50 percent of freight traffic for DB Schenker, the logistics unit of German railway Deutsche Bahn, breaches EU rules because it is too long.