BAA Loses Appeal; Must Sell Stansted Airport

The BBC is reporting that airport operator BAA has lost its appeal against a three-year-old ruling that it must sell Stansted airport.

The Competition Commission first ruled three years ago that BAA's dominance in London and Scotland meant it must sell Gatwick (pictured), Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports. BAA sold Gatwick and recently agreed to sell Edinburgh, but it has continued to fight the Stansted decision. BAA argued that it was not reasonable to consider Stansted as serving the same market as its other London airport, Heathrow, as they serve different markets and are used by different airlines. As a result, BAA said it was not anti-competitive for it to operate both airports, but the competition authority did not agree.

The appeal was dismissed by the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal, a judicial body whose panel is made up of judges and industry experts.

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