International Outlook: Global Wrapup
Why is the base price of a Ford Fiesta $10,870 in Greece but only $7,100 in Luxembourg? European Community trustbuster Leon Brittan thinks European carmakers' tight control of the distribution system is largely responsible.
Brittan would like to end the exemption from free-competition rules that keeps the prices up. Either that, or enforce a law that limits price variations between nations to just 12%. While the odds are against Brittan's prevailing, he got help from a recent EC court ruling that allows independent companies to buy new cars in cheap markets such as Belgium and resell them in high-priced ones such as France, Spain, and Britain.EDITED BY STANLEY REED