Ryanair shares flat as Aer Lingus purchase blocked

<p>Shares in Ryanair are flat as Aer Lingus purchase is set to be blocked by Europe.</p>

Shares in Ryanair are flat in trading this afternoon (February 12th) after the airline announced that its attempts to buy Aer Lingus may have been halted.

The Irish no-frills carrier revealed that the European Commission intends to block its takeover bid for the rival company on the grounds of unfair competition.

However, Ryanair said the decision was political in order to meet the interests of the Irish government and will appeal the decision.

The Commission said it would make a decision on the deal at the end of this month or the beginning of March.

Ryanair already owns 30 per cent of Aer Lingus and is making its third attempt to buy the airline after being given a list of objections by the Commission in October, which it had to address in order to explain away competition concerns.

At 14:55 GMT, Ryanair shares were flat on the London Stock Exchange at €5.67 per unit.

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