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BAA enforced airport sales reprieved. The lawyers are the winners. Now what?

The decision by the UK’s Competition Commission (CC) to make BAA sell London Stansted and one of either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports within two years of Mar-2009 was surprisingly overturned - for now - on 21-Dec-2009 by what is effectively its own Appeals Tribunal. On the Northern Hemisphere’s shortest day the Tribunal made short shrift of the CC’s original 'BAA airport markets investigation', which called for BAA to divest both Gatwick and Stansted airports, as well as a Scottish one. The Gatwick sale has since been completed. There is no certainty if the other sales will go through but if they do BAA should profit from an improving economy. Meanwhile, Global Infrastructure Partners has already given notice it will put up for sale part of its equity in Gatwick Airport, having only just moved in.

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