Bass merger decision is delayed until after election
Tuesday 25 March 1997
It means a Labour secretary of state for trade and industry could be faced with a series of high-profile merger decisions straight after the election, giving a first test of the party's consumer-led competition policy.
Labour could also decide the outcome of the controversial tie-up between British Airways and American airlines. The Office of Fair Trading has suggested provisional conditions under which the deal can avoid an MMC investigation, but rival carriers including Virgin have criticised these as being far too lenient.
One competition lawyer, Fiona Schaeffer from solicitors SJ Berwin, said: "The main issue here is one of delay, with the uncertainty of what a new Labour government will do. It may be those decisions will be quite different under Labour from the Conservatives. The BA-American decision is now clearly taking place in an overtly political context."
The MMC report on the Bass/Carlsberg-Tetley deal yesterday arrived on the desk of Ian Lang, President of the Board of Trade. There has been intense speculation that Bass may walk away from the agreement to buy Allied's stake in Carlsberg-Tetley if the MMC's conditions are too onerous. The report is thought to have recommended the sale by Bass of up to 2,000 pubs.
Labour would have to decide whether the link-up, creating Britain's biggest brewer with 35 per cent of the market, is against the consumer's interests. Mr Lang's predecessor, Michael Hesseltine, allowed Scottish & Newcastle to buy Courage, giving the merged group more than 30 per cent of the market.
Two further MMC reports have yet to be passed on to Mr Lang. These are the proposed merger of some P&O ferry services with Stena's and the pounds 250m link-up between two foreign-owned chocolate coating makers, Klaus Jacobs and Societe Centrale.
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Hermann Goering's daughter fails to reclaim items looted by Nazi deputy during WWII
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
iJobs Money & Business
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...