July 4, 2018 / 9:54 AM / 12 days ago

EU to investigate Ryanair deal with Montpellier airport

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Wednesday it had opened an in-depth investigation into a marketing deal between no-frills carrier Ryanair (RYA.I) and Montpellier airport in France, to see whether it constituted illegal state aid.

FILE PHOTO: Ryanair Boeing 737-800 passenger jet takes off in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

“We will investigate whether regional and local authorities in France granted an undue economic advantage to Ryanair over its competitors,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Under the deal, Ryanair received substantial payments in exchange for promoting the Montpellier area as a tourist destination on its website, the Commission said.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek, editing by Robin Emmott

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