Investigation into predatory pricing by Ryanair

July 1, 2009

Outcome of investigation

This case concerned an allegation that Ryanair was engaged in predatory pricing on the Cork – Dublin route. The case was closed in July 2009 because the Competition Authority (“the Authority”) was not convinced that at the time Ryanair was dominant in the relevant market.

Outline of case

This case concerned alleged predation by Ryanair on the Cork – Dublin route. Predatory conduct is where a dominant undertaking deliberately incurs losses or foregoes profits in the short term in order to eliminate or exclude actual or potential competitors with a view to strengthening or maintaining its market power, thereby causing consumer harm. Given the potential for harm to consumers, the Authority launched a formal investigation into this issue in 2008.

For Ryanair’s conduct to have been in breach of competition law, Ryanair must have had a dominant position in the relevant market. Following an assessment of the transport options on the Cork – Dublin route, the Authority was not convinced that Ryanair was dominant in the market that was relevant to this particular investigation for the specific time period that was examined.

Having come to this view, it was not necessary to determine if Ryanair’s conduct could be considered a predatory abuse of a dominant position. Therefore, the Authority decided to close this investigation.

Relevant provision

Section 5 of the Competition Act 2002

Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

Return to Closed Investigations

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