Ryanair to appeal Aer Lingus ruling

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The Independent Online

Ryanair said its lawyers will go to the Supreme Court to appeal yesterday's ruling that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) can launch an investigation into the budget airline's 29 per cent stake in Aer Lingus.

The Court of Appeal said the OFT is not "out of time" to investigate Ryanair's six-year-old holding.

Ryanair claims the watchdog should have referred the case to the Competition Commission within four months of a 2007 European Commission ruling that blocked its takeover bid for Aer Lingus.

Christoph Mueller, chief executive of Aer Lingus, said: "It is unacceptable that our principal competitor has been allowed to remain as a significant shareholder on our share register."

But Ryanair hit back: "[We] will... apply to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court and will be seeking a suspension of any... investigation."