Price fixing trial involving BA marketing chief collapses

British Airways has expressed its delight that the price fixing trial involving sales and marketing director Drew Crawley has been halted.

Drew Crawley
Drew Crawley

The long-running trial of three former BA executives and Crawley (pictured) for colluding in price fixing with Virgin Atlantic collapsed today (10 May).

Crawley made his first appearance in court in July last year when he pleaded not guilty.

Also in court and pleading not guilty to the direct charges that they were involved in a price fixing cartel between 2004 and 2006 were former British Airways commercial director Martin George, former head of communications Iain Burns and former head of UK and Ireland sales Alan Burnett.

The charge was made under the Enterprise Act and carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment or an unlimited fine. Hiowever, it has collapsed after the Office of Fair Trading decided to drop the case.

A spokesperson for BA says: “We are delighted that Drew Crawley, our director of sales and marketing, and his three co-defendants have been acquitted of all the charges laid against them.

“We have always known that Mr Crawley had done nothing wrong either in terms of competition law or our own internal codes of conduct.

We have never believed the information provided to the OFT at the outset of this case would be strong enough to bear scrutiny in a criminal court.”

She adds that BA has apologised “many times” for inappropriate contacts that took place between individual BA employees and counterparts at Virgin Atlantic.

“However, it remains our view that consumers did not suffer as a consequence of these contacts.”

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

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