Ryanair believes new Aer Lingus offer will pass European scrutiny
Ryanair is “confident” its latest offer for rival Aer Lingus will be approved by the European Commission, it said yesterday.
The statement comes just two days after it was reported that the Commission was to serve formal objections against Ryanair’s proposed takeover as the remedies offered did not address its competition concerns.
Ryanair confirmed it had received the Commission’s statement of objections on Tuesday.
The airline described this as a “standard procedural step in Phase II EU merger reviews”, adding that it “expects” the Commission will “shortly market test” its remedies package.
Ryanair said its remedies include a number of “new airline bases in Dublin, new entrant competitors on over 40 routes to/from Dublin, Cork and Shannon, as well as specific competition solutions that guarantee increased price competition”.
The airline said a detailed process of engagement with the Commission was now under way.
Deadline for remedies
As part of the Phase II investigation by the Commission, Ryanair has until December 21st to finalise any package of remedies for the regulator. This offers it the opportunity to amend the remedies it has offered.
In response to Ryanair’s statement yesterday, a spokesman for Aer Lingus said: “Aer Lingus hasn’t yet received the [Commission’s] statement of objections. We expect to receive this in the coming days and we will engage with the European Commission thereafter.”
Ryanair made its latest offer for Aer Lingus on June 19th.
It is understood Ryanair has held detailed talks with up to four airlines about taking over short-haul routes from Ireland operated by Aer Lingus, including with International Airlines Group.