Ryanair loses Aer Lingus buyout case
23rd May 2012
Budget airline Ryanair has lost a long-running competition case against the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) relating to their blocked 2006 buyout of rivals Aer Lingus.
The victorious OFT was advised by a team holding some of the very top London legal jobs, with the Court of Appeal ruling that a Competition Appeal Tribunal judgement preventing a takeover will not be overruled.
The case stems back to when the European Commission decided that Ryanair’s plans to consolidate its 25 per cent stake in Aer Lingus into complete ownership would be anti-competitive.
After this happened, Aer Lingus tried to rid itself of all Ryanair’s shares in its company; this action ran into a number of problems and delays along the way, and is only now approaching what may be a resolution.
This latest ruling means that a second-phase investigation could well be taken up by the Competition Commission, forcing Ryanair to finally sell its remaining investment.