The Long Arm Of Europe's Free Market Czar

Van Miert is shaking up the EU with his broad antitrust powers

The meeting was tense. The chief executives of Europe's major airlines gathered on Jan. 19 in Brussels, where they pleaded with European Competition Commissioner Karel van Miert to let them join forces with U.S. carriers. But van Miert held firm against the arrangements, which he believes would have prolonged the former national air monopolies' advantage. "The airline chiefs implored: `Please close your eyes,"' van Miert recalls. "I told them no. If you are sheltered and protected, you will not be able to compete."

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