Today saw Spanish owned company BAA lose its appeal against the forced sale of Stansted Airport by the Competition Commission. Some three years ago, when the ruling was first introduced BAA had to sell London Gatwick, Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports, this because of their dominance in the market.
Having already sold Gatwick and recently agreed to sell Edinburgh BAA stuck to their guns over Stansted and fought to overturn the original decision. The basis of their argument was that it wasn’t reasonable to consider Stansted as covering the same Market as their other London Airport, Heathrow and as a result that it wasn’t anti-competitive to operate both airports.
Today was not the news they hoped for when the UK Competition Appeal tribunal decided to uphold its original decision. The appeal tribunal, consisting of judges and industry experts delivered their verdict earlier today much to the disappointment of BAA.
The company released a statement to stress there were “disappointed” with the verdict and are currently considering their options. Laura Carstensen, an original member of the inquiry back in 2009 stated she was very pleased the original decision has been upheld.
It still remains to be seen what BAA’s next course of action will be but as things stand they will only be operating Heathrow Airport in London should they choose not to proceed and challenge this final verdict.