On 4 January 2011, the Office of Fair Trading announced that it has written to Ryanair setting out its view that it is “in time” to review the company’s acquisition of a minority share in Aer Lingus. The OFT had considered that it was unable to act until appeals against European Commission decisions relating to Ryanair’s bid for Aer Lingus in the European Courts had been concluded. Ryanair issued a statement setting out its intention to appeal against this, and on 10 January 2010, the Competition Appeal Tribunal published a notice of an application by Ryanair for review of the decision.
DotEcon has undertaken notable research for the OFT in the area of competition and minority interests. DotEcon’s study explored the circumstances in which minority interests held in competitors – including partial share ownerships, interlocking directorships, loans and certain financial derivative holdings (such as Contracts for Differences) – might impact on competition. The objective of the study was to develop an economic framework for the analysis of the competition effects of these instruments. Download the report here.