The impact on competition, transport links and jobs will be key as the Irish government weighs up a revised offer for Aer Lingus by British Airways owner International Airlines Group.
The Dublin government has a 25.1% share in Aer Lingus, and must agree to any deal before it can go through.
Ryanair has a 29.8% stake in the airline, and also has a power of veto.
Prime minister Enda Kenny was reported by the Times as pointedly declining to back the bid in the Irish parliament yesterday.
Transport minister Paschal Donohoe said that price was not the primary consideration.
He said the government would give the proposed deal “very careful examination” before taking a decision.
“There are important considerations to be taken into account in addition to price,” he said.
Opposition parties are against the takeover, as are senior members of the Labour Party, the partner in the Fine Gael-led coalition government.
Shares in Aer Lingus dived by 4.5 per cent before rallying to €2.37, down four cents on the day.
Aer Lingus has said it is willing to accept a revised €1.36 billion takeover offer from IAG.
But IAG must “address the interests of relevant parties” before it formally recommends the offer.
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