Gatwick up for auction as BAA seeks to allay competitive concerns

London Gatwick Airport has been put up for sale as owner BAA seeks to avoid a large-scale breakup by British regulators. The U.K. Competition Commission said last month that BAA, a unit of Spain's Grupo Ferrovial SA, should give up two of its three airports in the London area to benefit both passengers and airlines. By giving up Gatwick, BAA hopes to maintain ownership of London Heathrow and Stansted, as well as other airports in England and Scotland. With bidders such as Virgin Atlantic already lining up to bid, analysts predicted the second-busiest airport in the U.K. could fetch up to $5 billion.

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