Van Miert rejects airlines' criticism of competition policy
Friday 23 January 1998
Karel van Miert, the EU competition commissioner, said it was ironic that while airlines objected to being investigated on individual routes rather than entire networks, they spent their time complaining about each others' anti-competitive activities on individual routes.
Mr Van Miert refused to be drawn on reports that British Airways had offered to phase in its controversial proposed alliance with American Airlines over several years. In return the Commission would not demand that the companies surrender take-off and landing slots and Heathrow airport all at once, but rather over a phased period.
"I am not in a position to answer, we are in the midst of discussions. Things are moving at last but we are not there yet," he said. While Brussels cannot block the alliance it can impose tough conditions and the key demand up to now has been that the companies give up over 350 Heathrow slots
There was speculation in Brussels that his remarks showed that even if the deal is approved next month, Mr Van Miert will not back away from ruthless investigations of strategic alliances by looking at their effects on every individual route.
Mr Van Miert also said British Airways had indicated it was prepared to take steps to avert a clash with Brussels following a string of damaging complaints about its marketing tactics.
He confirmed he had received a formal complaint in "fairly powerful language" from British Midland. The complaint is about so-called "override commissions" paid to travel agents, which BA claims are standard practice in the industry. The complaint mirrors a case lodged by Virgin against BA, which is already under investigation in Brussels.
- 1 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
- 3 Welcome to Cameroon, where drinking Baileys can lead to imprisonment
- 4 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
iJobs Money & Business
£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...
Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...