Competition conundrums

Ryanair’s swoop for Aer Lingus has proved to be controversial, with the government, trade unions and, latterly, businessman Denis O’Brien forming a somewhat unlikely alliance opposed to the bid.

21st October, 2006

There has been much discussion of the possible competition implications, and last week, government officials met their EU counterparts to argue against the proposal on competition grounds. Some have suggested that, if the acquisition goes ahead, competition would be eliminated, with two airlines being replaced by a monopoly. Such arguments appear somewhat simplistic.

It would appear that the takeover would be subject to EU merger rules, rather than national legislation. Assuming that Ryanair can secure...

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