Ryanair has been given the green light to take a controlling stake in Austrian carrier Laudamotion.
The European Commission says the transaction would raise no competition concerns within the European Economic Area.
Ryanair already holds a 25% stake in Laudamtion and has agreed with the Austrian airline's owner Niki Lauda to increase this to 75% for €50 million ($62 million).
The Commission says it investigated the impact of the proposed transaction on the market for air transport of passengers on routes from German, Austrian and Swiss airports to leisure destinations in the Mediterranean and Canary Islands, where the networks of Ryanair and Laudamotion overlap.
It also examined whether Laudamotion slots to be acquired by Ryanair at different European airports would allow the budget carrier to prevent competitors from entering or expanding their presence at those gateways.
The Commission's investigation found that the increase in the slot portfolio held by Ryanair would be "unlikely" to have a negative effect on passengers, and that the airline will "continue to face strong competition" on the routes to and from airports where its activities overlap with Laudamotion's.
Ryanair chief legal and regulatory officer Juliusz Komorek has welcomed the Commission’s approval, stating that the airline "remains committed to bringing competition, choice and low fares to the Austrian, German and Spanish markets through our investment in Laudamotion".
Source: Cirium Dashboard