Well, in Airlinesim, everything depends. There are so many unclear and gray areas that really, the most important word combination is, "it depends".
In cases like this, there are three factors to consider:
Outcome had the action not been done
In stock trade of this company these factors would need to be considered first before determining if there was any wrongdoing, and there was a recent thread in UAB section, where UAB candidates explain that players should be given chance to reply and counterclaim any accusations made against them.
Each and every step of the process must be considered, whether such step is legal, undefined, or prohibited by AS standards.
First of all, selling stock at profit (or at loss) is not illegal in AS, if the transaction is between the two willing parties.
- Malicious Intent - what was the intent here? Was there an intent to generate profit by quickly selling the stock to a second holding just because quick profit is possible? Was that second holding operated by the same player who sold the stock, another player playing in the gameworld?
With the intent we need to determine if the intent in itself was malicious, if we agree that it was, we need to also consider the outcome had the action not been done and benefit.
Outcome had the action not been done - if the stock was not sold, what would happen? Would the airline selling the stock have gone bankrupt? Would the airline have failed to pay wages and need to get rescue loan? Would an aircraft be taken away because lease payments could not be made?
Benefit - the benefit that was generated by malicious intent, did it allow the airline to quickly multiply its benefit? It is not the same to unjustifiably earn 5 million for a 10 million airline, than it is 5 million for a 500 million airline. Did the benefit allow airline to grab slots or get into the markets it otherwise could not, if it was not for the malicious intent in the first place?
The “malicious intent”, “outcome if the action did it not happen”, and “benefit” are the deciding factors.
As I do not play in the Quimby world, you can most likely consider yourself these three factors, and try to answer those questions (as you know the airlines in question). Maybe you will realize yourself that not a damage was done, or maybe you will discover that what was done was really inappropriate. But only finding answers to those 3 factors can you be absolutely sure what transpired.
One of the reasons I am applying for UAB is to pursue a definition of certain undefined behaviors. To open (public) discussions about whether some currently undefined actions and behavior should be prohibited by rules (or hard code), whether some should be allowed and to what extent, etc. Currently, there is a larger scale of gray and undefined behaviors and actions than both defined (legal) and prohibited combined.