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BAA ordered to sell airports

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by Kay Mitchell

Airport operator BAA has been ordered to sell Stansted Airport and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports, it has been confirmed.

BAA, which is majority-owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, has been under investigation by the Competition Commission since 2007.

In its final ruling, the Commission said the sale of the airports was fully justified and the sale will commence in three months time.

Commenting on its ruling, Peter Freeman said: “Our report has been challenged, reviewed and upheld and it is clear that the original decision to require BAA to divest three airports (including Gatwick) remains the right one for customers.”

BAA sold Gatwick airport two years ago to Global Infrastructure Partners (which owns London City Airport) after an investigation found that customers were suffering from a lack of competition between airports.

At the time, it was ordered to sell Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh but appealed against the decision but has now lost the case.

Meanwhile, BAA’s chief executive Colin Matthews said he was “dismayed” by the decision.

As well as Stansted, Glasgow and Edinburgh, BAA operates Heathrow, Southampton and Aberdeen.

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News posted: July 19, 2011

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