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Branson urges President Obama not to approve BA/AA alliance

13-Aug-2009 1:03 PM

Virgin Atlantic President, Sir Richard Branson, has sent US President, Barack Obama, a letter urging him not to approve British Airways and American Airlines request for antitrust immunity, stating “now, more than ever, consumers are counting on you to put their interest first" (Telegraph.co.uk, 13-Aug-09).

Virgin Atlantic: "Never before has the US government approved an anti-trust immunity application where barriers to entry are so significant that any new meaningful competitive entry is virtually impossible. If their proposals were to be approved, AA-BA would have a monopoly, or near monopoly, on some of the busiest and most profitable routes from the US to Europe. AA-BA are seeking ATI authority to jointly set prices and co-ordinate capacity and schedules because it will enable them to squeeze existing US-Heathrow competitors off key routes. If AA-BA win, it will be an unprecedented loss for consumers," Sir Richard Branson, President. Source: Telegraph.co.uk, 13-Aug-09.