PARIS — Ryanair said Wednesday that it was letting its nearly $900 million takeover offer for Aer Lingus lapse amid news that European competition regulators planned an extended review of the bid — the Dublin-based low-cost airline’s third attempt to win control of the Irish flag carrier in six years.
But Ryanair said it would bid again for its rival next year if the inquiry by Brussels — which has twice rejected the combination — raises no major objections.
Analysts said a deeper European investigation into the deal probably did not signal a greater openness to accept a merger this time around.
‘‘It is very rare for the European Commission to give an outright ‘no’ ” to a takeover, said Gerard Moore, an airline analyst at Merion Stockbrokers in Dublin. ‘‘This still looks very difficult on paper. The odds are still against Ryanair.’’
Ryanair stunned investors in June with the announcement that it would offer $874 million in cash for the 71 percent of Aer Lingus it did not already own. The offer represented a 38 percent premium to Aer Lingus’s share price at the time but was less than half what Ryanair first bid for the stake back in 2006.
In a statement, the European Commission said it remained concerned that a merged airline would hold a virtual lock on air transport in and out of Ireland. Ryanair has vowed to keep the two airlines operating separately within one group, although the two would control more than 70 percent of the Irish air travel market between them.