Ryanair faces new inquiry

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The Independent Online

The Office of Fair Trading has resumed its investigation into Ryanair's minority stake in its Irish rival Aer Lingus, and said yesterday it expected to reach a decision by the end of next month.

The watchdog began an inquiry almost a year ago into whether Ryanair's near 30 per cent holding in Aer Lingus gave it the power to influence the former state carrier's commercial policy and hampered competition. Ryanair, however, tried to challenge the OFT's jurisdiction over the matter – a challenge it lost last month.

Its stake in Aer Lingus dates back to a bid in 2006 for its rival, which was blocked by the European Commission.