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Court of Appeal confirms that BAA Limited is required to sell Stansted Airport


The Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT") decided, on 1 February 2012, to dismiss BAA's appeal against the Competition Commission's July 2011 report requiring BAA to sell Stansted Airport (as well as one of Glasgow or Edinburgh airports).

This was the second Competition Commission report against which BAA had appealed. It had previously challenged the Commission's original market investigation report of March 2009. BAA's 2009 challenge, which was the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal and an application to the Supreme Court, was ultimately unsuccessful.

By a judgment handed down on 26 July 2012, the Court of Appeal (Mummery, Rimer and Sullivan LJJ) has now upheld the CAT's February 2012 decision in relation to the 2011 report. The Court of Appeal has found that the CAT did not misconstrue the Competition Commission's 2009 findings about substitutability between BAA's London airports, and has rejected BAA's complaint about the Commission's analysis of the proportionality of the divestiture timetable.

The effect of this judgment is that BAA remains required to Stansted Airport within the divestiture timetable.

As in BAA's previous challenge, the Competition Commission was supported, both in the CAT and before the Court of Appeal, by Ryanair as intervener.

Nicholas Green QC and Martin Chamberlain appeared on behalf of BAA instructed by Herbert Smith LLP.  Sarah Love appeared as junior counsel on behalf of Ryanair instructed by Nabarro LLP.