CC to investigate Ryanair stake
18 Jun 2012
The Competition Commission (CC) is to investigate the completed acquisition by Ryanair Holdings plc of a minority stake in Aer Lingus Group plc.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has referred the case to the CC, which will decide whether the acquisition may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets for goods or services in the UK.
The OFT commenced an investigation into Ryanair’s stake of 29.8 per cent in Aer Lingus in October 2010 but the OFT’s investigation has been suspended on two occasions, once by the OFT because it had insufficient information with which to proceed, and once due to a legal challenge by Ryanair, which was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on 22 May 2012.
The OFT states that Ryanair and Aer Lingus are, by far, the two largest scheduled airlines operating between the UK and the Republic of Ireland by passenger traffic.
The CC is expected to publish its final report by 29 November 2012.
The CC would like to hear from all interested parties, in writing, by no later than 6 July 2012. To submit evidence, please email Ryanair.Aerlingus@cc.gsi.gov.uk or write to:
Ryanair/Aer Lingus inquiry
Notes for editors
1. The CC is an independent public body, which carries out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries.
2. The Enterprise Act 2002 empowers the OFT to refer to the CC completed or proposed mergers for investigation and report which create or enhance a 25 per cent share of supply in the UK (or a substantial part thereof) or where the UK turnover associated with the enterprise being acquired is over £70 million.
3. The CC has a 24-week period in which it is required to publish its report, which may be extended by no more than eight weeks if it considers that there are special reasons why the report cannot be published within that period.
4. Further information on this inquiry, including the terms of reference and other key documents, as well as on the CC and its procedures, including its policy on the provision of information and the disclosure of evidence, can be obtained from the CC website at: www.competition-commission.org.uk.
5. Enquiries should be directed to Rory Taylor or Siobhan Allen or by ringing 020 7271 0242.