The problem arises from the fact that Eircom have a monopoly on the lines. They can do what ever they like with the infrastructure as they have no competition in this area. Hence they can use this position to control the rest of the market.
The same goes with Aer Lingus. The problem is that Aer Lingus had a monopoly on the slots in Heatrow. These slots were deemed necessary for our countries good and should have been kept by the government in a holding company. Myself and Dan among others suggested this when the privatization was done. We should have had the situation where the 4 Shannon slots should have been available on franchise to however wanted to run this service. Be they Aer Lingus, Aer Arann or Air France.
But by again repeating the mistake of the Eircom privatization and putting the monopolistic infrastructure in the hands of a private company. That is the lesson to be learned from privatization. At least with the ESB the ESB and the grid are already separated so if the ESB is broken up the grid can remain with the government.
With Ryanair, workers and the government over 50% of shareholders are against this move. It will be interesting to see if they change this. Indeed could they oust the board? But one thing they should do, and I think Ryanair would support this move. Is to try to use this 50% to move the slots back into public ownership. Whether this is possible or not is not clear. But certainly if the government care about spatial strategies they have little choice even if it costs.
moves to takeover Aer Ryanair are getting great publicity from this highlighting their commitment to Shannon and that they had no plans to get rid of these slots. I wonder are people regretting not supporting Ryanair's Aer Lingus takeover bid. They committed to keeping the Heatrow links, and have shown great support for Shannon and Ireland throughout the years. If they had taken over we probably would not be in this mess.