§ Mr. Martyn Jones
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if, in the light of the proposed British Airways-British Caledonian merger, he has any plans to tighten the safeguards to prevent newly privatised industries from becoming monopolies; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Maude
I see no need to introduce additional safeguards of this kind. Whether specific provisions are needed to deal with the possibility of takeover or monopoly abuse is considered in the context of individual privatisations. Except to the extent that any such specific provisions substitute for them, the provisions of competition law apply to privatised industries, as to other private sector businesses.
§ Mr. Brandon-Bravo
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will take into account the potential impact of a British airline industry dominated by one large carrier operating from both Heathrow and Gatwick, on the East Midlands and other regional airports before making his decision on the proposed takeover of British Caledonian by British Airways; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Woodcock
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make it his policy to take into account the interests of consumers in making his decision on the proposed British Airways/British Caledonian merger; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Maude
The Monopolies and Mergers Commission has now submitted its report on this merger proposal to the Secretary of State. In view of the market-sensitive nature of the report, it is inappropriate for me to comment further until it is published, when an announcement will be made in the normal way on its conclusions and on what action, if any, arises from them.