EU court backs blocking of Ryanair's merger with Aer Lingus

08:15, July 07, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

It was right for the European Commission to block Ryanair's merger with its Irish rival Aer Lingus due to competition concerns, a European Union (EU) court ruled Tuesday.

Ryanair launched a public bid for the entire share capital of Aer Lingus in 2006, but was blocked by the commission. The EU's antitrust watchdog found that the merger would have removed the intense competition between the two leading Irish airlines, harming more than 14 million passengers each year.

The low-cost airline giant brought an action against that decision before the EU's general court. But the Luxembourg-based panel dismissed Ryanair's appeal and acknowledged the commission's analysis of the competitive effects and the proposed remedies.

Following the commission's decision, Ryanair bought further shares, bringing its stake in Aer Lingus's capital to 29.3 percent. Aer Lingus then requested the commission to order Ryanair to divest all of its shares in Aer Lingus but the commission refused to grant that request, stating that it was not within its power.

The EU's general court also endorsed the commission's assessment that it had no jurisdiction to require Ryanair to divest its minority shares in Aer Lingus.

"The combination of Ryanair and Aer Lingus would have created a dominant position on 35 routes to the detriment of more than 14 million EU passengers that travel to and from Ireland each year," said commission vice president Joaquin Almunia.

"I am happy that the commission's approach to airline mergers which can hurt citizens has been confirmed by the court," Almunia said.



  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • On Sept. 28, tourists travel around the Mingshashan Scenic Area in Dunhuang, Gansu province by camel. With the National Day vacation right around the corner, more and more tourists from home and abroad are going to Dunhuang. Riding on a camel, they travel in the desert to enjoy the cities rare form of natural scenery. (Xinhua/Zhang Weixian)
  • Chinese forest armed forces work together with forest firefighters on Sept. 28. (Xinhua/Chai Liren)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows strong wind blows trees in Sanya, south China's Hainan Province. Typhoon Nesat heads towards south China and is moving at an average wind speed of 20 km per hour toward the west coast of China's Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Hou Jiansen)
  • A fallen tree is seen on a road in Qionghai, south China's Hainan Province, Sept. 29, 2011. Typhoon Nesat was predicted to land in Hainan later Thursday, bringing heavy rainfalls to the island. (Xinhua/Meng Zhongde)
  • Arash Kamalvand (L) of Iran spikes the ball during the semifinal against South Korea at the 16th Asian Men's Volleyball Championship in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 28, 2011. Iran won 3-1 to advance to the final. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)
  • A man visits "Thy Word Is Truth, the Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Protestant Church in China", during its opening at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church in Washington DC, capital of the United States, Sept. 28, 2011. Through the Bible's various Chinese versions, ancient or modern, as well as pictures, paintings, calligraphy, art works and historical documents, the exhibition was expected to give an overall understanding of how Bible was brought into China, how it was translated, published, distributed and loved. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
Hot Forum Discussion