The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds the OFT’s jurisdiction to review the acquisition of a minority shareholding in a merger in the airline sector (Ryanair / Aer Lingus)

I. Introduction On 28 July 2011 the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”) handed down a unanimous judgment, upholding the UK Office of Fair Trading’s (“OFT”) jurisdiction to review Ryanair‘s 29.8% minority shareholding in rival Irish airline Aer Lingus, which the former acquired almost five years ago. The case highlights the limits of suspensory effect under EU merger control rules. The CAT’s conclusion – that UK merger control rules should not have been applied to Ryanair‘s minority shareholding in Aer Lingus pending the outcome of appeals by the parties to the General Court – is a welcome one. Not only is it legally sound, in preventing potentially conflicting European Commission and national competition authority decisions relating to the same merger; it is also administratively sound, in

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Authors

  • Vinge (Stockholm)
  • Latham & Watkins (London)

Quotation

Grant McKelvey, Calum Warren, The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal upholds the OFT’s jurisdiction to review the acquisition of a minority shareholding in a merger in the airline sector (Ryanair / Aer Lingus), 28 July 2011, e-Competitions Bulletin July 2011, Art. N° 38575

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