Reports have indicated that the EU Commission formally issued a statement of objections as part of its Phase II investigation into the proposed acquisition of Aer Lingus by Ryanair.

A Phase II investigation is commenced when there are serious doubts about the compatibility of a proposed transaction with EU competition law. The statement of objections sets out the Commission’s views as to why a proposed transaction would be incompatible with EU merger legislation. The parties have a right to make a written reply to the statement of objections and are also permitted to present their case orally at a formal hearing.

The statement of objections has not yet been published but this is expected shortly.