Competition – news story

CMA welcomes Ryanair’s withdrawal of challenge

The CMA has welcomed Ryanair’s decision to withdraw its latest and final appeal over the requirement to reduce its shareholding in Aer Lingus.

Ryanair sold its 29.8% stake to IAG last month following the European Commission’s decision to clear IAG’s bid for Aer Lingus and the granting of necessary approval from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

In July, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) dismissed Ryanair’s appeal against the CMA’s decision of 11 June 2015. This had rejected Ryanair’s claim that there had been a material change of circumstances since the CMA’s original decision requiring the airline to reduce its shareholding in Aer Lingus to 5%. Ryanair then sought permission from the Court of Appeal to appeal the CAT’s decision, but has now withdrawn that application. The appeal was formally dismissed by the Court of Appeal today.

Simon Polito, Chairman of the Ryanair/Aer Lingus inquiry group, said:

We welcome both the end and the outcome of this long running case.

Our decision was that it was bad for competition - and ultimately for passengers - for Ryanair to retain an influence over one of its major competitors through its shareholding. With Ryanair having sold its shareholding and withdrawn this appeal, we are pleased that the matter is now at an end.

All information on the Ryanair/Aer Lingus inquiry can be found on the case page.