16 FEBRUARY 2015

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Article from BTNews 16 FEBRUARY 2015

Ryanair appeals again

The UK Court of Appeal has rejected Ryanair’s petition to overturn Britain's Competition Commission (now called the Competition and Markets Authority – CMA) for the airline to divest itself of a 29% stake in Aer Lingus.

This was thought by many to be the end of the matter with Ryanair selling its stake, probably to IAG.

Not so.  Ryanair says it will now appeal to the UK Supreme Court, as the judgement, so the airline claims, raises human rights issues of significant public importance, including the scope of protection offered to businesses by the right to property.  It also says that the CMA speculated in its Final Report that Ryanair’s 29% shareholding would deter other airlines from merging with or bidding for Aer Lingus.  If this is the case the IAG bid repudiates the CMA.

Robin Kiely, Ryanair’s PR Manager, said: “While we note the Court of Appeal’s ruling on the CMA’s Final Report on Ryanair’s 29% stake in Aer Lingus, this judgment ignores the fact that the CMA’s Final Report was based on fanciful hypotheses, secretive “evidence” and unsubstantiated assumptions.  As such, we have instructed our lawyers to appeal this ruling to the UK Supreme Court.”

What is the end game? www.ryanair.com  www.gov.uk/cma-cases/ryanair-aer-lingus-merger-inquiry

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