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BAA To Sell Stansted After Legal Battle

(c) Sky News 2012

Airport operator BAA has said it will sell Stansted Airport after deciding not to challenge a ruling forcing it to sell the airport.

The company was expected to take the case to the Supreme Court after the Competition Commission's (CC) decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal last month.

But in a statement, BAA said: "Having carefully considered the Court of Appeal's recent ruling, BAA has decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court and is now proceeding with the sale of Stansted airport."

In 2009, the CC published a report into BAA's ownership of seven airports which said it had an unfair market advantage over rival operators.

As a result, the company has sold both Gatwick airport - in 2009 - and Edinburgh airport earlier this year.

The sale of Stansted, the UK's fourth busiest airport, will leave BAA with four others: Heathrow, Southampton, Aberdeen, and Glasgow.

The company said added that CC's ruling "fails to recognise that Stansted and Heathrow serve different markets".

BAA is owned by a consortium led by Spanish construction firm Ferrovial (Xetra: A0DKZZ - news) which last week said it would sell 10.62% of its stake to investment fund Qatar Holding for £478m.