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Competition watchdog tells Ryanair to cut Aer Lingus stake

Staff writer |
Britain's competition watchdog has told Ryanair in a final ruling to cut its 30 percent stake in Aer Lingus.

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This potentially is making it easier for British Airways-owner IAG (ICAG.L) to take over the airline. IAG has made a 1.36 billion euro ($1.53 billion) bid for Aer Lingus, but the deal is conditional upon winning support from Ryanair.

The Competition and Markets Authority said it was not good for competition when one airline could decide if a bid for its major competitor succeeded or failed.

"We need to ensure that, whatever happens in relation to this particular transaction, Ryanair's ability to hold sway over Aer Lingus is removed," the watchdog said in its final ruling on the issue.

"We will liaise closely with other authorities to ensure that our requirement for Ryanair to reduce its stake works effectively alongside shareholders' consideration of the IAG bid and assessment of the bid by the European Commission."

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