COMPETITION LAW NEWS: Ryanair Barred From Taking Over Aer Lingus by EU Commission


The European Commission has formally barred low cost airline Ryanair from taking over its rival Irish airline company Aer Lingus in which company the Irish Government holds a majority shareholding. The proposed merger was held to be unacceptable since it would have given rise to a dominant position for Ryanair over forty-six (46) air routes with the consequence, that the consumers’ choice would have been significantly reduced and an increase in the ticket fare would have been a likely outcome.

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia is quoted to have said that Ryanair’s proposals “were simply inadequate to solve the very serious competition problems which this acquisition would have created.

The saga for Ryanair’s taking over of Aer Lingus has been going on for more than five years ever since 2007 when it made its first attempt for it.