Going down: British Airways

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Shares in British Airways fell by 12 per cent after the Department of Trade and Industry decided to refer the company's pounds 75m acquisition of CityFlyer Express to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. CityFlyer Express operates regional services for BA under franchise, and BA decided to bid to prevent it falling into the hands of a third party.

The deal would lift BA's share of slots at Gatwick from 29 per cent to over 40 per cent and this has raised opposition, especially from Richard Branson's Virgin group. The shares were also hurt by weaker than expected fourth-quarter earnings from two US airline companies.