Extracts from the press conference by Joaquín Almunia on Commission’s decision to prohibit Ryanair's proposed takeover of Aer Lingus
On 27 February 2013, Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, gave a press conference on Commission’s decision to prohibit Ryanair's proposed takeover of Aer Lingus.
The European Commission has prohibited, on the basis of the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed takeover of the Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus by the low-cost airline Ryanair. The acquisition would have combined the two leading airlines operating from Ireland. The Commission concluded that the merger would have harmed consumers by creating a monopoly or a dominant position on 46 routes where, currently, Aer Lingus and Ryanair compete vigorously against each other. This would have reduced choice and, most likely, would have led to price increases for consumers travelling on these routes. During the investigation, Ryanair offered remedies. The Commission assessed them thoroughly and carried out several market tests. However the remedies proposed fell short of addressing the competition concerns raised by the Commission. PHOTOSHOTLIST