EU sets Dec. 20 deadline for final Ryanair concessions

BRUSSELS Fri Dec 7, 2012 11:21am GMT

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BRUSSELS Dec 7 (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators have given Ryanair until Dec. 20 to offer more concessions before deciding whether to clear or block the budget airline's third takeover attempt for Aer Lingus, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Ireland-based Ryanair has already submitted a package of concessions which includes a commitment from at least two EU airlines to set up bases in Dublin, increasing competition, and the scrapping some of its and Aer Lingus' routes from Ireland.

But the proposals have failed to sway the European Commission, which last month told Ryanair that the deal would hurt competition on routes out of Ireland.

"Ryanair has until Dec. 20 to amend its remedies," the source said.

The EU competition watchdog will decide by Feb. 6 whether to clear or block the deal. It vetoed Ryanair's first takeover bid in 2007. The carrier, which holds a 30 percent stake in Aer Lingus, withdrew its second attempt in 2009.

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