THE controversial takeover of loss-making airline BMI by British Airways' parent firm moved a step closer yesterday as the UK's market regulator declined requests to scrutinise the deal.
Though acknowledging there was "significant concern" for passengers travelling between Scotland and Heathrow, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said the job of addressing these issues was best undertaken by the European Commission.
The OFT decision provoked disappointment from Virgin Atlantic, the leading rival bidder for BMI, and Labour, which had referred the takeover to the OFT. Both said it would lead to fares being hiked and services being cut, though the claims have been disputed by International Airlines Group, formed last year by the merger of BA and Spanish airline Iberia.
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