Ryanair/Aer Lingus: Even “low-cost” monopolies can harm consumers*I. Introduction The Ryanair/Aer Linguscase, which concerned a proposed merger of the two leading airlines operating from Ireland, raised a number of interesting procedural, legal and economic questions and required a particularly careful investigation [1]. The Commission found that the acquisition would have led to very high market shares on more than 30 routes from/to Ireland, reducing choice for consumers and exposing them to a high risk of price increases. The merger would have combined two airlines with a similar operation model (“low-frills”) and with a significant presence in particular at Dublin Airport, where they would together account for approximately 80% of European short-haul traffic. Based on these

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