30-Aug-2012 11:05 AM

European Commission opens in-depth investigation into Ryanair's bid for Aer Lingus

European Commission opened (29-Aug-2012) an in-depth investigation (phase II) under the EU Merger Regulation into Ryanair's proposed acquisition of Aer Lingus. The Commission's preliminary investigation into the proposed takeover indicated potential competition concerns. Both carriers are currently main operators from Dublin Airport and closely compete on a number of European routes. The Commission stated, "the takeover could therefore lead to the elimination of actual and potential competition on a large number of these routes." The Commission will investigate the proposed merger in-depth to determine whether its initial concerns are confirmed or not. The Commission has 90 working days, until 14-Jan-2012, to decide whether the proposed takeover "would significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA)". Meanwhile Ryanair reacted (29-Aug-2012) to the European Commission's decision by withdrawing its takeover proposal. Ryanair said it will rebid for Aer Lingus if the Commission clears its offer following its phase II review. Aer Lingus welcomed the developments. [more - original PR - European Commission] [more - original PR - Ryanair]

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