A PYMNTS Company

With court’s backing, OFT set to resume probe of Ryanair’s share in Aer Lingus

 |  May 22, 2012

The U.K. Court of Appeal has ruled that the OFT can investigate whether Ryanair’s 29.8 percent stake in Aer Lingus could lead to a substantial lessening in competition. The OFT’s probe began in 2010 to determine if Ryanair could use its shareholding to influence its rival Aer Lingus. However, Ryanair challenged the investigation, arguing that the OFT did not begin its investigation in time because the airline started to acquire its stake in 2006.

The OFT had suspended its investigation while the appeal was pending. Now that the Court of Appeal has handed down its judgment, the OFT is set to decide on a possible referral of the matter to the Competition Commission within 15 days. If the case is referred to the Competition Commission, Ryanair may be forced to divest its share, an outcome that Aer Lingus welcomes.

Full content: Financial Times (subscription required)


Related contentCarve-Outs Under Airline Antitrust Immunity: In the Public Interest? (Jan Brueckner & Stef Proost, KULeuven)


Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.