BAA to appeal forced airport sell off

May 19, 2009

UK airports operator BAA is saying that it intends to appeal the Competition Commission’s requirement that it sell off three of its airports.

In March, the monopoly watchdog told BAA that it would have to sell Gatwick and Stansted airports in London, and either Edinburgh or Glasgow airport in Scotland, after looking into the dominance of the operator in the UK airport sector.

According to BAA, the ruling did not take current economic conditions into account, and also said that the commission’s findings were “affected by apparent bias.”

Spanish infrastructure firm Ferrovial owns BAA, and has said that the Commission failed to consider the recession when insisting that the airports be sold.

BAA is currently trying to sell Gatwick airport, and confirmed that the process was continuing.

It added that it is also appealing the decision on the grounds of apparent bias: “This is because of links between a member of the Competition Commission panel and an organisation interested in acquiring the airport that BAA is required to sell.”

The BBC received information that BAA was raising questions regarding Professor Peter Moizer, who was one of six panelists involved in the inquiry conducted by the Competition Commission.

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