Last week the Office of Fair Trading referred the question of whether Ryanair’s 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus breaches competition rules. The OFT is concerned that the stake may give Ryanair “the ability to exercise material influence over the commercial policy of Aer Lingus”, a claim that Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary has refuted saying forcefully that Aer Lingus had routinely “ignored Ryanair’s advice” and in some cases “denied Ryanair shareholder rights”. Leary accused the OFT of wasting taxpayer’s money on a “wild goose chase into a six-year old failed merger”, and confirmed that he expected the Commission to come to the

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