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Thursday, 3 April 2008

Murray Sanderson on real competition...

Murray Sanderson makes a very valid point on the Zambia Competition Commission's recent (desperate ?) effort to prevent BP gaining sole control of Zambia's only jet fuel:

Much as I dislike monopolies, I disagree with the ZCC's involvement in issues of shareholding. What does it matter whether a company has a single shareholder or two or several? The competition we want is not between shareholders but between market players. Whether BP is sole owner of the Zambia's only jet fuel supplier, or whether the supplier is jointly owned by BP and Mobil, is immaterial. The supplier is still a monopoly. One can even argue that it is more dangerous if jointly owned by BP and Mobil, because then there is no possibility that Mobil will come in as a competitor. Equally, it is silly to object to Vedanta owning a majority of KCM shares. The competition we need is between companies, not within companies.

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