Sunday 28 December 2014

Ryanair ordered to sell off stake in Aer Lingus

Tom Molloy

Published 07/03/2014 | 16:48

Ryanair is among the airlines which have benefited from state adi
The commission said Ryanair's stake in Aer Lingus had led to a situation where there either is, or could be, a substantial lessening of competition between the two airlines.

Ryanair has been ordered by the UK's Competition Commission to sell most of its near-30pc stake in Aer Lingus.

The UK watchdog today upheld a decision made last year which instructed Ryanair to reduce its holding in Aer Lingus from just under 30pc to 5pc.

The commission said Ryanair's stake in Aer Lingus had led to a situation where there either is, or could be, a substantial lessening of competition between the two airlines.

Ryanair had appealed the initial decision and argued that the Competition Commission had relied on evidence and allegations "that have been kept secret from Ryanair". It also insisted that the Competition Commission had no right to make a finding while Ryanair was appealing against a decision by the European Commission that prevented it from pursuing its third Aer Lingus takeover attempt.

Ryanair can only appeal today’s decision on a point of law.

The British competition watchdog made the ruling because the Dublin-London route is one of the busiest in the UK.

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