Ryanair noted the UK Court of Appeal’s judgment concerning Ryanair’s appeal of the UK Competition Commission’s (CMA) Final Report regarding Ryanair’s 29% stake in Aer Lingus. The Court of Appeal considered Ryanair’s arguments about the CMA’s breach of the EU law duty of sincere cooperation and of Ryanair’s procedural rights, as well as the disproportionality of the divestment remedy imposed on Ryanair, but refused to set the CMA’s decision aside. Ryanair will now appeal this case to the UK Supreme Court, as it raises human rights issues of significant public importance, including the scope of protection offered to businesses by the right to property.
In parallel, Ryanair has requested a formal review by the CMA of its Final Report, and a withdrawal of the divestment remedy, in light of the recent offers by the International Airlines Group (IAG) for Aer Lingus, which fully disprove the theories and unsubstantiated evidence on which the Final Report was based. The CMA speculated in its Final Report that Ryanair’s 29% shareholding would deter other airlines from merging with or bidding for Aer Lingus. Clearly, IAG’s recent offers demonstrate that the CMA’s findings were wrong and that its divestment remedies must be revoked in light of this compelling evidence.
Ryanair’s Robin Kiely 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.
Additionally, Ryanair has now requested a formal review by the CMA of its Final Report, and a withdrawal of the divestment remedy, in light of the recent IAG offers for Aer Lingus, which wholly disprove the CMA’s unsubstantiated claim that Ryanair’s shareholding somehow prevented other airlines from merging with or bidding for Aer Lingus. Clearly the CMA’s case has now been totally undermined by the IAG offers.”