Outlook: Thomson break
Friday 10 December 1999
Unfortunately consumers are unlikely to notice the difference, and neither are the group's long-suffering shareholders. What Thomson's legal triumph over the Department of Trade and Industry does do is cast the government ministry in a very poor light indeed.
The Court of Appeal ruled that the DTI over-reached its remit and had no power to make a statutory order restricting certain deals between tour operators and travel agents. It all looks hugely embarrassing for the secretary of state at the time, namely Margaret Beckett.
All this dates back to 1997's investigation into the travel industry by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (now called the Competition Commission). Though the MMC declared the industry "broadly competitive", to the consternation of everyone other than those working in it, the MMC did recommend banning certain practices such as the tying of holiday discounts to the purchase of insurance. For reasons known only to itself, the DTI broadened the restrictions to ban a host of other practices such as the payment by tour operators for sole poster displays in travel agents.
The problem was that the order was drafted so poorly that no one in the industry was ever sure what was included and what wasn't. Consequently the Court of Appeal has found in favour of Thomson on all the points it raised. Lord Justice Laws even went as far as to say that the DTI's order "could not possibly have been conformed to."
The move sets a legal precedent as this is the first time a judicial review has overturned a ruling by the DTI. With the Competition Commission's report on the car industry due to land in January, Stephen Byers, the present Trade Secretary, will have to be on his mettle. Meanwhile, Thomson will be hoping the ruling marks a much needed turning point in its fortunes.
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Follow the latest events from this Champions League fixture
Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind"
Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Ukraine crisis: Donetsk 'tactical missile' explosion at factory sends blast wave across rebel-held city
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Oscar de la Renta dead: Legendary US fashion designer dies after long cancer battle aged 82
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...
£27000 per annum + pension, 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ind...
£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...