LONDON, Mar 19 – Britain\’s Competition Commission ruled on Thursday that airport operator BAA must sell two big airports, Gatwick and Stansted, and either Edinburgh or Glasgow airports within two years in a landmark anti-trust case.
Gatwick, largely used for charter flights, is the second-biggest airport in Britain after Heathrow near London, and is the 10th-busiest in the world, Gatwick airport website says.
The chairman of the BAA Airports inquiry, Christopher Clarke, said in a statement that the decision was "the only way to address comprehensively the detriment to passengers and airlines from the complete absence of competition between BAA’s south-east airports and between Edinburgh and Glasgow."
BAA, owned by Spanish construction group Ferrovial, runs seven airports in Britain.
Ferrovial posted a 2008 net loss of 838 million euros (1.1 billion dollars), a sharp turnaround from net profits of 734 million euros in 2007.
Gatwick is already up for sale following preliminary recommendations by the Competition Commission. The anti-trust body ruled that Stansted airport should be sold next and then either Glasgow or Edinburgh.