Ryanair ‘may have to cut Aer Lingus stake’

<p>Competition laws could force Ryanair to sell shares in Aer Lingus.</p>

Ryanair has been told it may need to sell off some of its stake in Aer Lingus.

According to the Competition Commission (CC), its 29.8 per cent stake in the airline could reduce competition on routes between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

The CC has concluded the shareholding gives Ryanair the ability to influence the commercial policy and strategy of Aer Lingus, which is its main competitor on these journeys.

Simon Polito, CC deputy chairman and chairman of the Ryanair/Aer Lingus inquiry group, stated that Ryanair's stake in Aer Lingus can "influence the major strategic decisions that could be crucial to Aer Lingus's future as a competitive airline on these and other routes".

He added the committee is particularly worried about Ryanair's ability to influence Aer Lingus's chances of being acquired by another company.

Ryanair's share price is down slightly in the early stages of this morning's (May 30th) trading on the back of the news. At 08:19 BST, stocks were selling for 6.88, down 0.55 per cent.

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