Ryanair expects European Commission to block Aer Lingus deal

The European Commission intends to block Ryanair's planned purchase of Aer Lingus, according to a Ryanair statement. Ryanair said it would appeal such a move.

Ryanair claimed to have "met every competition concern raised" during the review process, "including providing the European Union — at its request — with irrevocable commitments from not one, but two upfront buyers to eliminate all competitive overlaps between Ryanair and Aer Lingus," a proposed remedy that it called "unprecedented."

Those buyers, according to Ryanair, are IAG, parent of British Airways and Iberia, which agreed to acquire all of Ryanair's and Aer Lingus' London Gatwick operations, and Flybe, which would assume control over 43 Aer Lingus routes.

"It appears clear ... that no matter what remedies Ryanair offered, we were not going to get a fair hearing and were going to be prohibited regardless of competition rules," according to a statement attributed to Ryanair head of communications Robin Kiely. "Ryanair has no alternative but to appeal any prohibition decision."

Source: Business Travel News 
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