Ryanair’s Acquisition of Laudamotion

July 13, 2018

Cleary Gottlieb represented Ryanair in its unconditional approval for the acquisition of Laudamotion.

On July 12, 2018, the European Commission (EC) unconditionally approved Ryanair’s acquisition of a 75 percent shareholding in Laudamotion.

Ryanair, based in Ireland, is a low cost point-to-point airline operating throughout Europe. Laudamotion, based in Austria, has recently acquired many of the assets of the former airline NIKI, and started a range of scheduled passenger flights from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, primarily to Mediterranean and Canary Island leisure destinations. Ryanair has entered into a partnership with Niki Lauda to offer competition, lower fares, and more choice for consumers.

The EC investigated the impact of the proposed transaction on the market for air transport of passengers on the routes from German, Austrian and Swiss airports to leisure destinations in the Mediterranean and Canary Islands, where the activities of Ryanair and Laudamotion overlap. The commission also examined whether Laudamotion’s portfolio of airport slots to be acquired by Ryanair at different airports would allow Ryanair to prevent competitors from entering or expanding their presence at these airports.

The EC’s investigation found that the increase in the slot portfolio of Ryanair is unlikely to have a negative effect on passengers; and Ryanair will continue to face strong competition from other carriers on the routes to and from airports where the activities of both airlines overlap.

The commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not give rise to competition concerns in any of the relevant markets.