A Brexit-related High Court battle is on the distant horizon for Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
P&O Ferries sued the Department for Transport after ministers in March agreed a £33 million payment to Eurotunnel as part of a settlement in another case.
Bosses say the settlement constitutes “unlawful interference” in a competitive market.
Transport ministers dispute P&O’s claim.
A judge on Monday said a trial would start at the High Court in London on November 16 2020.
Mr Justice Fraser set a date while analysing a number of legal issues at a preliminary hearing in London.
The trial is expected to last more than two weeks.
Eurotunnel had taken legal action after then Transport Secretary Chris Grayling awarded more than £100 million in contracts to three ferry companies as part of plans for a no-deal Brexit.
The contracts, which were subsequently cancelled, attracted widespread criticism in the wake of reports that one company, Seaborne Freight, had been awarded a £13.8 million contract to run services between Ramsgate, Kent, and Ostend, Belgium, despite having no ships.
Bosses at Eurotunnel had complained about the procurement process for those contracts.