Nothing but negotiation

The Gap Partnership

Competition Commission clears UK travel venture

Thomas Cook, the Co-operative Group and the Midlands Co-operative Society will be allowed to merge.

16 August 2011

A joint venture between Thomas Cook, the Co-operative Group and the Midlands Co-operative Society has been cleared by the Competition Commission (CC).

According to the latter body, the completion of business negotiations deals by the trio will not lead to a "lessening of competition" in the sector.

There had been fears that consumers looking for a high street holiday package would face an increase in price as a result of the move, but these concerns have been allayed.

"The joint venture would bring together two of the three largest travel agents on the UK high street", the CC observed.

At the moment, the three businesses have 1,240 shops, while Thomas Cook will continue to operate its tour operator wing separately.

In order to make the deal happen, negotiation skill may have been required on the part of the three companies.

The Co-operative Group is the UK's largest mutual business and has an annual turnover of £13.7 billion.

Posted by Ken Hayes

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