CAT 21
8 Aug 2012
Judgment of the Tribunal on an application by Ryanair Holdings plc (“Ryanair”) for a review under section 120 of the Enterprise Act of the decision of the Competition Commission (“CC”) to continue its investigation of Ryanair's completed acquisition (“Acquisition”) of a minority shareholding in respect of one of its competitors, Aer Lingus Group plc (“Aer Lingus”).
The Tribunal has concluded that, as a matter of law, the CC is not precluded from continuing its investigation of the Acquisition. The Acquisition was not a concentration with a Community dimension caught by the EU Merger Regulation and so does not fall within the European Commission's exclusive jurisdiction. Furthermore, the duty of sincere co-operation in Article 4(3) of the Treaty on European Union does not mean that the CC cannot take further steps in its investigation at the same time as the European Commission is investigating Ryanair’s bid for the entire issued share capital of Aer Lingus. The Tribunal noted, however, that the CC remained subject to the duty of sincere co-operation and must avoid taking any decision running counter to a decision adopted, or which might be adopted, by the European Commission in relation to the public bid.
This is an unofficial summary prepared by the Registry of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.