EU blocks Aer Lingus takeover Ryanair says it will appeal

first_imgRYANAIR HAS SAID that it will appeal a decision by the European Commission to block its third proposed takeover of its fellow Irish airline, Aer Lingus, on competition grounds.The Commission ruled this morning that a merger of Ryanair with Aer Lingus would have harmed consumers by creating a monopoly or dominant position on 46 routes where the two airlines currently “compete vigorously” against each other.“This would have reduced choice and, most likely, would have led to price increases for consumers travelling on these routes,” the Commission said in a statement this morning.“During the investigation, Ryanair offered remedies. The Commission assessed them thoroughly and carried out several market tests. However the remedies proposed fell short of addressing the competition concerns raised by the Commission.”Ryanair’s package of what it said were “unprecedented and revolutionary remedies package” included a commitment from the airlines Flybe and International Airways Group (the holding company for British Airways) to takeover 46 crossover routes.But the Commission said that on all 46 routes Ryanair and Aer Lingus combined would have had “high market shares”.It claimed that on 28 routes the proposed merger would have created “an outright monopoly” and on a further 11 routes the only competitive constraint to the merged entity would have come from charter airlines, which it said were a “very different business model”.The Commission also said that its investigation “showed that there was no prospect that any new carrier would enter the Irish market after the merger, in particular by the creation of a base at the relevant Irish airports, and challenge the new entity on a sufficient scale”.‘Pander to the vested interests’The decision had been expected after Ryanair said last week that the Commission had told it that the latest offer and remedies package would be rejected over competition concerns. Ryanair restated its intention to appeal the decision today.In a statement the airline claimed that the blocking of its bid was a “political decision to pander to the vested interests of the Irish government” which is a minority 25 per cent shareholder in Aer Lingus.Ryanair said the decision “is not one that is based on a fair and reasonable application of EU competition rules or precedent airline merger approvals in Europe”.Spokesman Robin Kiely said: “At a time when airlines in Europe and further afield are merging to form bigger competition champions – witness American Airlines’ merger with US Airways last week and Emirates’ recent strategic joint-venture with Qantas – the EU Commission has yet again set back competition and choice in Europe while delaying much-needed consolidation.”This was Ryanair’s third takeover bid for Aer Lingus.It already owns 29.82 per cent of Aer Lingus but has failed in a number of bids to get a controlling share in the Irish airline which has rejected the approaches from one of its competitors.In a statement, Aer Lingus said it was Ryanair’s only significant competitor on the “vast majority of Irish air routes” and welcomed the decision of the European Commission.Chief executive Christoph Muller said in a statement: “Aer Lingus’ position from the outset has been that Ryanair’s offer should never have been made.“The series of inadequate remedy offers presented by Ryanair only underlines the view that Ryanair made its offer without any reasonable belief that it could obtain clearance. ”More: Ryanair loses bid for Aer LingusRead: Ryanair loses ECJ case on reimbursing costs for stranded passengerslast_img read more

Heres how Richard Bruton plans to create 7000 jobs a year in

first_imgInternational competition has increased dramatically, and many of the tools we relied on previously – cost competitiveness, the high performance of the IDA [Industrial Development Agency], competitive corporation tax regime, State support – are no longer enough to mark Ireland out.Addressing the media at today’s launch, the Minister laid out the government’s position on the corporation tax regime.The 12.5% [rate] has been a bedrock of our system. The FDI landscape has changed dramatically in recent years… In the three years 2011-2013 we attracted an average of more than 6,000 extra jobs per year… The indications from the first six months of this year are than investments are up significantly… We have protected that even when the country was under the greatest stress…and what the Minister for Finance has said is that we will compete under fair rules, but we will be competing to win.Some of the more specific proposals in today’s statement include:Keeping the 12.5% corporation tax ratePursuing new FDI sources, such as emerging economiesTargeting a top-five ranking for Ireland for international competitivenessLooking for new forms of FDI, such as joint ventures and high net worth individualsScroll down to read the full Policy Statement on Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland.Read: FDI companies love doing business here – and not just for our corporation tax rate>‘Highest level of job creation’ through IDA in over a decade>http://www.djei.ie/publications/enterprise/2014/Policy_Statement_FDI_Ireland_July_2014.pdf ‘No longer enough to mark Ireland out’The policy aims to create 7,000 new jobs a year by 2020 in multinational companies, as part of the the government’s strategic growth plan to replace every job lost in the crisis and attain full employment in five years’ time.Launching the masterplan, Bruton noted some recovery in attracting investment since the crisis, but pointed to international competition as a major challenge:center_img Talent – make Ireland internationally renowned for problem-solving, creativity and adaptability of workforceTechnology – although “we cannot be world-leaders in all areas,” today’s announcement seeks to be world-leading in research and innovation in certain key areasQuality of life – play to the strengths of different regions, offer “great places to live”, and  make Dublin a “vibrant capital city” with a dynamic start-up communitySectors – identify and pursue emerging sectors and industriesAddressing the issue of attracting companies beyond Dublin and throughout Ireland, Bruton told the media:You have to have the living environment. You have to have the schools and the houses… If we want to get regional spread, we create the regional environment that is a magnet to those companies. IRELAND MUST IMPROVE what it has to offer multinational companies if we are to compete for foreign direct investment (FDI) on the global market, according to the government’s FDI masterplan.The Policy Statement on Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland, launched by Jobs Minister Richard Bruton this morning, has called for a focus on four ways to attract multinational companies into the country:last_img read more