The European Commission recently announced its decision to prohibit the proposed takeover of Aer Lingus by Ryanair.
The Commission said the merger would have resulted in competition problems on 46 routes where Aer Lingus and Ryanair currently compete and that if the merger proceeded, there would likely be reduced choice and price increases for consumers travelling on these routes.
In addition, the Commission noted the high barriers for entry in the Irish market due to the strong position of Ryanair and Aer Lingus and concluded there was “no prospect” that a new airline would enter the Irish market after the merger. The Commission considered that the remedies proposals offered by Ryanair were inadequate to alleviate these competition concerns.
Ryanair is likely to appeal the decision.