§ Mr. Campbell-Savours
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on what date and at what time his Department was first informed of the proposed merger between British Airways and British Caledonian.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
My Department became aware of the possibility of a merger between British Airways and British Caledonian about a week before the proposal was made public. The proposed merger is being considered by the Director General of Fair Trading, who has a duty to advise the Secretary of State whether the matter should be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. For reasons of commercial confidentiality and in order to maintain the independence of the Director General of Fair Trading, we do not disclose the details of contacts which we or the Office of Fair Trading may have had with other parties.