Virgin Atlantic fight on for consumers
Thursday 15, July 2010
The European Commission today announced its final decision to approve British Airways and American Airlines’ anti-competitive alliance. Sir Richard Branson has spoken out against the decision, remaining resolute in his belief that consumers will lose out as a result of the deal.
Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic, commented: "We have fought this monster monopoly for the past thirteen years and are still resolute in our belief that this decision is shameful and consumers will suffer greatly as a result of this deal. The European Commission has let consumers down by agreeing to paltry remedies which are wholly inadequate.
"Luckily for the competition authorities, Virgin Atlantic will continue to compete to win passenger and corporate business despite this massively uneven playing field which we are forced to compete on."
The final decision and remedies package remains woefully inadequate. The many shortcomings include too few slot remedies, no requirement for competitors to take up the remedies which means BA/AA can proceed regardless of whether competition is in place and slots which are only available on a limited-duration lease-hold basis thereby disincentivising new entry. All of these factors combined mean that the remedies are unable to address the competitive harm caused by a combined BA/AA.
Go to Virgin Atlantic for more details on the opposition to the proposed merger.
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