Airport operator BAA has been given a final chance to appeal against the forced sale of London Stansted Airport. The Competition Commission has fought a three year long battle with the operator in an attempt to force the sale in order to increase efficiency in the UK aviation sector.
Officials at the United Kingdom Competition Commission have confirmed BAA will be forced to bring forward the sale of either Edinburgh or Glasgow Airport. The CC confirmed in July its original decision of March 2009 that Stansted Airport and one of either Glasgow and Edinburgh airports should be sold, rejecting the contention there had been a material change of circumstance since that time.
At last some good news for beleaguered Thomas Cook, as the Competition Commission issues final approval for its proposed merger with the Co-operative Group and the Midlands Co-operative Society. It comes at a tough time for Thomas Cook, which has issued three profit warnings in the past 12 months and recently parted was with chief executive Manny Fontenla Novoa.
Ryanair has launched legal action against BAA in an attempt to recover up to £175 million in fees it believes it incurred at Stansted Airport due to the “monopolistic” position of the airport operator. Also in the UK today, the Competition Commission has confirmed the final ruling on the merger of Thomas Cook, Co-operative Group and Midlands Co-operative Society has been delayed.
The Competition Commission has confirmed BAA will be forced to sell Stansted Airport and either Edinburgh or Glasgow Airport, with the sales process expected to start in three months.
Airport operator BAA will be forced to sell London Stansted and one of its Scottish properties following a further decision by the Competition Commission. “No material changes” were founded in circumstances since the commission published its final report on BAA in March 2009, prompting the government body to reject appeals against its decision.
The Competition Commission says it will continue its attempt to break up BAA’s airport portfolio, following a ruling by the Competition Appeal Tribunal that the forced sale of Stansted was unfair.
The Competition Commission has begun vetting bidders for Gatwick to ensure that they are ready and able to run operations at the UK’s second-busiest airport. The government watchdog has set out criteria that potential new owners of Gatwick must meet. Any bidder considered to have insufficient funds or experience running an airport will be blocked from submitting a final bid.
The Competition Commission is to begin screening bidders for Gatwick Airport to ensure they have sufficient funds and are not relying on debt.The watchdog is endeavouring to avoid a repeat of Ferrovial’s all-debt acquisition of BAA three years ago. The £10.5bn deal burdened the Spanish group with massive debts, leaving it unable to invest sufficiently in new infrastructure.