Saturday, April 14, 2012

Why Virgin will continue to fight BA’s anti-competitive purchase of bmi

In all of our years of business, one of the key things that we have taken away is that corporate rivalry or “competitiveness” can be a catalyst for huge industry change, driving innovation and extending consumer choice.

By Sir Richard Branson

A dynamic new entrant to a marketplace can challenge thinking, force competitors to innovate and generally raise the bar for the product or experience in that market. Ultimately, this leads to pioneering product development, sharper service and much better value for consumers.

This theory is not new, nor is it exclusive to us. In fact, the idea of competitiveness driving forward industry has long been recognized by governments and business groups and is the reason why competition law was created.

One of the key aims of competition regulation is to protect the consumer from monopoly situations where companies can set whatever prices they like and stop investing in their product. In this situation the public suffers, the industry suffers and the country suffers.

That is why Virgin Atlantic will appeal the decision by the European Commission to wave through BA’s merging with bmi in just 35 working days. I truly cannot believe this directive and we will challenge every aspect of this process that, if allowed to stand, will undoubtedly damage the British airline industry for years to come.

However you look at the likely outcome of the BA purchase of bmi, you cannot find anything other than a serious erosion of competition at London Heathrow, leading to the consumer paying dearly.


Read more:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk

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