Germany rejects Ryanair claim that Air Berlin insolvency was staged

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany on Wednesday rejected accusations by low-cost airline Ryanair (RYA.I) that Air Berlin’s (AB1.DE) filing for insolvency protection was aimed at preparing the German carrier for a takeover by Lufthansa (LHAG.DE).

An economy ministry spokeswoman also said a bridging loan of 150 million euros ($175.5 million) the government has granted Air Berlin did not breach anti-trust rules.

“I reject the accusation by Ryanair today that it was a staged insolvency application,” the spokeswoman said. “We assume that the loan is conform with the law”.

Reporting by Joseph Nasr and Michael Nienaber; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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