You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Business

Britain rules against Ryanair

Ryanair was told to cut its stake in Aer Lingus from 29 percent to 5 percent. It plans to appeal.

Peter Morrison/Associated Press/File 2010

Ryanair was told to cut its stake in Aer Lingus from 29 percent to 5 percent. It plans to appeal.

PARIS — British regulators ordered Ryanair on Wednesday to slash its 29 percent stake in Aer Lingus to 5 percent, arguing that the holding gave Ryanair too much influence over the strategy of the struggling Irish flag carrier and threatened competition on routes between Ireland and Britain.

In the ruling, which reaffirms its initial finding in May, Britain’s Competition Commission rejects a number of proposed remedies offered by Ryanair, including a vow last month by the airline’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, to sell, without conditions, its entire Aer Lingus stake to any European company that made a successful bid for more than half of the airline.

Continue reading below

Aer Lingus welcomed the commission’s finding, which had been widely expected.

Ryanair immediately rejected it as “bizarre and manifestly wrong” and said it would challenge the order before Britain’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, a process that could drag on for several months if not years.

Regulators will not be able to compel any divestment by Ryanair until after the company has exhausted its appeals.

Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline by number of passengers, has made three unsolicited offers in the past seven years for Aer Lingus, which is 25 percent owned by the Irish government.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week