Permission to appeal decision

Permission to appeal decision by UK Supreme Court

Ryanair Holdings plc (Appellant) v Competition and Markets Authority and another (Respondents)

14 July 2015

The Supreme Court has today (14 July) announced its decision on an application for permission to appeal in the case highlighted below. This decision was made by a panel of three Supreme Court Justices following a review of the relevant written submissions.

The Supreme Court has refused an application by Ryanair Holdings to appeal the Court of Appeal of England and Wales' decision in a case relating to a dispute over its minority stake in Aer Lingus. The Competition and Markets Authority (previously the Competition Commission) had directed Ryanair to reduce its holding from 29.82% to 5% on the grounds that by Ryanair holding such a large stake it would a) prevent Aer Lingus from entering into merger talks or other form of combination with, another airline; and (b) cause a substantial lessening of competition on routes between Great Britain and Ireland.

The legal issues relate to where the CMA orders divestiture of shares to remedy a "substantial lessening of competition" (SLC) that divestiture may remove any possibility (as opposed to probability) of that SLC occurring. In addition it concerns whether Ryanair was a victim of procedural unfairness or whether the CMA's direction for divestiture breaches the duty of sincere cooperation in Article 4(3) of the Treaty on European Union ("TEU").

The Supreme Court has refused to hear Ryanair's appeal and the Court of Appeal judgment therefore stands:

The substantive text of the Supreme Court's Order reads:

"The Court ordered that permission to appeal be refused as the application does not raise a point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by the Supreme Court at this time bearing in mind that the case has already been the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal."