Access key links:

From 1 April 2014 the Competition Commission is abolished and its functions transferred to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). There will be no further updates to this website after 31 March.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) brings together the Competition Commission (CC) and the competition and certain consumer functions of the OFT. The CMA takes on its full powers and responsibilities on 1 April 2014.

BAA airports market investigation

Date of referral: 29.03.07        Statutory deadline: 28.03.09


Update and timeline on the BAA Limited appeal to the CAT

1 February 2012:

CC welcomes CAT verdict on BAA Stansted appeal

7 October 2011:

CC puts Scottish Airport sale first news release (PDF, 39 Kb) 

22 September 2011:

BAA has lodged an appeal with the CAT against the CC’s confirmation on 19 July 2011 that it would require the company to sell both Stansted and Glasgow or Edinburgh airports. Judgement is now awaited following a hearing at the CAT on 5, 6 and 7 December 2011. Further details can be found on the CAT’s website at:

19 July 2011:

Consideration of possible material changes of circumstances final report news release (PDF, 34 Kb) 

30 March 2011:

Consideration of possible material changes of circumstances provisional findings news release (PDF, 28 Kb) 

18 February 2011:

Statement from the CC following the Supreme Court decision on the BAA appeal news release (PDF, 28 Kb) 

18 November 2010:

The CC is inviting submissions on whether there have been any relevant developments it should take into consideration since it made its decision in March 2009 requiring BAA to sell three airports. Following the judgment by the Court of Appeal last month to reinstate the CC’s findings, the CC wishes to take matters forward and as a part of that process would like to consider representations on whether any changes in circumstances over the past 18 months give cause for the CC to reconsider the implementation of the remedies identified in its original decision.

CC invites evidence on possible material changes of circumstances news release (PDF, 45 Kb) 

13 October 2010:

The Court of Appeal handed down its judgment upholding the CC’s appeal.

Statement from the CC following the Court of Appeal’s Judgment on the BAA airport market investigation news release (PDF, 28 Kb) 

The pivotal point of the judgment being that the question of “apparent bias” did not arise until 2 December 2008 – roughly 3 months before the BAA airports market investigation finished. (The CAT’s judgment had been based on the possibility of apparent bias arising much earlier – from 25 October 2007).

The effect of the Court of Appeal’s decision is to restore in full the CC’s Report together with its remedies including the requirement for BAA to sell Stansted and either Edinburgh or Glasgow airports.

The Court of Appeal’s judgment is available at:

BAA has 28 days to appeal to the Supreme Court.

25 June 2010:

The CC’s appeal against the CAT’s findings on apparent bias was heard by the Court of Appeal on 23 and 24 June 2010. Judgment is expected later in the year.

30 March 2010:

A ruling on costs was handed down by the CAT.

26 March 2010:

The Court of Appeal granted the CC leave to appeal against the CAT’s findings in relation to apparent bias.

11 March 2010:

Following the CAT’s decision to quash the decisions in the Report concerning the common ownership of airports, the CC has formally released BAA from the Interim undertakings accepted by the CC on 15 May 2009, in so far as they relate to the CC’s decisions about common ownership.

The CC has applied to the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal against the Tribunal’s findings in relation to apparent bias.

25 February 2010:

The CAT refused requests from the CC and Ryanair for permission to appeal against the Tribunal’s judgement of 21 December 2009. The Tribunal made an Order quashing the decisions in the CC’s Report that relate to the common ownership of airports and remitting these matters back to the CC for reconsideration. The Order will come into effect only when the question of any further application for permission to appeal, or any actual appeal, has been determined. The Tribunal ruled that findings in the Report relating to Aberdeen airport, Heathrow airport’s position as a hub, the planning system, government policy and the regulatory system can stand.

21 December 2009:

The CAT handed down its judgement. Its unanimous decisions are that BAA’s application for review of the CC’s Report succeeds on ground 1 (namely, apparent bias), but fails on ground 2 (namely, that the CC failed properly to apply the proportionality principles when fixing the timetable for divestiture of three BAA airports). The Tribunal will hear further argument on the scope of relief to be granted, unless the parties reach agreement beforehand. The CC is studying the judgment carefully and considering its implications and whether there are any grounds for an appeal.

1 July 2009:

A case management conference took place and Ryanair Limited (Ryanair) was granted permission to intervene.

18 May 2009:

BAA Limited (BAA) has filed a notice of application in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) challenging the Competition Commission’s (CC) report “BAA airports market investigation: A report on the supply of airport services by BAA in the UK” (the Report) to review the CC’s report on two separate grounds. Firstly, that the report is affected by apparent bias; and secondly, that the report failed to take into account the adverse financial impact of introducing competition. The appeal hearing will take place at the CAT from 19-22 October 2009. Further details can be found on the CAT’s website at:

  • Print this page


CC rules, guidance and best practice guides