The Competition Commission has confirmed that it will require BAA to sell Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh in the hope that passengers and airlines will benefit from greater competition.
BAA chief executive officer Colin Matthews immediately hit back at the decision saying the company would now consider launching a judicial review.
“We are dismayed that the Competition Commission’s final decision still requires BAA to sell Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airport,” he said.
“The Competition Commission 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 Competition Commission’s decision.”
However, Competition Commission BAA Remedies Implementation Group chairman, Peter Freeman, said he stood by the decision and already there had been a ‘foretaste’ of the benefits of increased competition with the sale of Gatwick Airport to Global Infrastructure Partners in October 2009.
“We think that these benefits will be all the greater once Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow are all in competition with each other,” Freeman said.