Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said:
“Today’s CMA decision rejecting Ryanair’s request to review its order to divest Ryanair’s 29.8% minority stake in Aer Lingus is manifestly wrong and flies in the face of the current IAG offer for Aer Lingus. When the only basis for the CMA’s original divestment ruling was that Ryanair’s minority shareholding was or would prevent other airlines making an offer for Aer Lingus, the recent offers by IAG for Aer Lingus totally disprove and undermine the bogus theories and invented evidence on which the CMA based its untenable divestment ruling.
Simon Polito and his group were unable to establish any consumer harm arising from Ryanair’s minority stake in Aer Lingus and instead resorted to speculating (in the CMA’s August 2013 report) that Ryanair’s 29.8% shareholding would deter other airlines from merging with or bidding for Aer Lingus. IAG’s current offer for Aer Lingus proves that the the CMA’s invented theory of harm was hopelessly wrong, and is now unsustainable given that the circumstances have manifestly changed, and accordingly the divestment remedy must be revoked in light of this compelling evidence.
Ryanair has instructed its lawyers to appeal today’s ridiculous decision to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, given that it is factually unsustainable and legally flawed as the IAG offer for Aer Lingus proceeds.
In parallel, Ryanair’s lawyers are currently seeking permission to appeal the unsustainable 2013 report to the UK Supreme Court.”