BAA Forced To Sell Edinburgh Or Glasgow

Competition chiefs have made a final decision on how many airports BAA has to sell including Stansted and either Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The sale process will start in three months  "or sooner if undertakings are accepted from BAA in the meantime'', the CC said.

Today's announcement follows a provisional ruling on the sales made in March this year and ends a two-year saga which began in March 2009 when the CC made what was seen then as a final report on BAA's airport ownership.

In that March 2009 ruling, the commission said BAA must sell Gatwick - since disposed of - as well as Stansted and either Edinburgh or Glasgow.

But there were then a series of legal challenges by BAA to the ruling, which ended with the CC findings being upheld.

The CC then considered whether there had been material changes in circumstances since the 2009 ruling.

Both in the provisional ruling in March this year and in today's final report, the CC said the sale of the airports was fully justified.

It added that passengers and airlines would still benefit from greater competition with the airports under separate ownership, despite the current Government's decision to rule out new runways at any of the London airports.

This final ruling from the commission may not be the end of the matter, as BAA immediately responded today by saying that it was considering a judicial review.

BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said: "We are dismayed that the CC's final decision still requires us to sell Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airport. The CC has not recognised that the world and BAA have changed.

"This decision would damage our company which is investing strongly in UK jobs and growth. We have a responsibility to protect our shareholders' investment and we will now consider a judicial review of the CC's decision.''


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