Tribunal’s airports decision ‘perverse’

3.5.2010 (FT)

A court ruling that would allow BAA to maintain much of its airports near-monopoly
is “perverse, wasteful and wrong”, according to the head of the competition watchdog.

Peter Freeman, Competition Commission chairman, said he would strive to reverse
an independent tribunal judgment that scrapped an order for the company to dismantle
itself because its dominance harmed passengers’ interests.

The tussle – which will decide whether BAA is forced to sell Stansted and either
Glasgow or Edinburgh airports – shows how the commission is battling to hold its
ground after losing several high-profile appeals by multinationals.

Mr Freeman said he was pushing through a counter-appeal against the independent
Competition Appeal Tribunal’s ruling this year negating the commission’s two-year
BAA probe because of the “apparent bias” inherent in links between an investigator
and a local authority pension fund that bid unsuccessfully for Gatwick airport.

Mr Freeman said: “We did not agree . . and particularly don’t agree [it] should
cause an entire market investigation to be done again. That seems an outcome that
is perverse, wasteful and wrong.”




see also

BAA wins Competition Commission appeal on airports sale

21st December 2009       BAA has won its appeal against an order to sell  3 of the  7 UK airports it runs
on the grounds that the ruling panel was affected by “apparent bias”.   his was
because one of the panel members had long standing connections with MAG.  But
the appeal tribunal rejected BAA’s argument that it was being forced to sell the
airports too quickly. The Competition Appeal Tribunal said it would now allow
more time to hear arguments as to what should happen next. Airports may still
need to  be sold. (BBC)        
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