U.K. Regulators Call for BAA Airport Monopoly Probe

A break-up of BAA's U.K. airports, owned by Spain's Ferrovial, could be on the cards as Britain's consumer affairs watchdog, the Office of Fair Trading, recommended that competition authorities probe its operations.

The OFT reported BAA on the grounds of poor customer satisfaction and the need for more competition to reduce costs in the seven U.K. airports owned by the company, including the three main London airports: Heathrow; Gatwick and Stansted.

British Airways, Ryanair and other airlines have called on competition authorities to break up BAA's airports because of concern about lack of competition amongst the airports.

"We strongly welcome this decision today, we've been calling for the break-up of the BAA monopoly for many years," said Ryan Air’s CEO Michael O'Leary on "Squawk Box Europe." "It has badly served British passengers and badly served British tourism."

The share price of Ferrovial, which bought BAA earlier this year, dipped 1.1% to 74.20 euros in early trading.

"The most likely outcome is not a break-up of the airport structure but there will be some kind of capping effect across Ferrovial," Manus Cranny, head of sales at Cantor Index, told "Squawk Box Europe."

The OFT's recommendation opens the door for a full inquiry by the Competition Commission.