Aer Lingus has welcomed today’s announcement by the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal that the Office of Fair Trading is “in time” to investigate Ryanair’s minority shareholding in Aer Lingus under the UK’s merger control legislation.
Aer Lingus’s Chief Executive, Christoph Mueller, said: “It is now clear that the OFT has the jurisdiction to investigate the anti-competitive effects of Ryanair’s minority shareholding in Aer Lingus and we call on the OFT to recommence its investigation as soon as possible.
“The European Commission blocked the Ryanair takeover of Aer Lingus more than four years ago, therefore it is incomprehensible that they have been allowed to remain on our share register. Ryanair’s shareholding is contrary to the interests of consumers and the majority of our shareholders and must now be addressed once and for all.”
Ryanair has said that it would immediately appeal this morning’s ruling.