In June this year, Ryanair, the Irish low-cost airline, launched a full takeover bid for Aer Lingus, the airline which has been the country’s national flag carrier. The European Commission is now examining the potential competition effects of that proposed takeover in a full “second-phase” investigation under the EU Merger Regulation, having blocked a previous takeover bid in 2007. At the same time, the UK’s Competition Commission is carrying out a detailed second-phase investigation into Ryanair’s acquisition, over the period 2006-08, of its current (pre-bid) 29.82 per cent shareholding in Aer Lingus. Given that that shareholding was acquired a long time ago, and that the topical question is whether Ryanair should be allowed to proceed with its full takeover bid - i.e. the issue that the
The UK Competition Authority investigates a transaction above the EU merger regulation turnover thresholds (Ryanair / Aer Lingus)
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