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Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 20 September, 2014

UK tribunal rules Ryanair must sell Aer Lingus stake

The company said today is will be appealing the ruling.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE BRITISH COMPETITION Appeal Tribunal has dismissed an appeal by Ryanair today against a decision that would force the company to sell off most of its stake in Aer Lingus.

The judgement by the country’s Competition Commission in August last year found that Ryanair, through its 29.8 per cent shareholding gave it “material influence” over Aer Lingus. It also said that it had led or may be expected to lead to a “substantial lessening of competition” between the airlines on routes between Britain and Ireland.

The airline was ordered to bring its stake down to just 5 per cent.

In its appeal, Ryanair said it was “procedurally unfair” to keep allegations and evidence which the commission relied on for its decision secret from the company.

It also argued that the commission had no right to make a decision now as it may undermine any ruling in Ryanair’s appeal against the European Commission. Last year the EU blocked the company’s plans to take over Ryanair and it is currently appealing.

Today a spokesperson for Ryanair said the company notes today’s ruling and “has instructed its lawyers to appeal this ruling to the UK Court of Appeal”.

Read: Ryanair to appeal report by UK’s Competition Commission>

Read: TD asks Oireachtas to question Ryanair on safety record>

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