As you may know, round one of the dogfight between British Airways (BA) and Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic Airways is over, and Branson won. BA issued an abject apology to England's leading entrepreneur for conducting a "dirty tricks" campaign to steal Virgin's customers and harm its reputation. BA also agreed to pay damages of £500,000 to Branson and £110,000 to Virgin Atlantic, plus legal costs. What you probably don't know is that Branson divided his share of the settlement equally among all Virgin Atlantic employees to "thank them for persevering during a difficult time." The rest of the money is being used to start a fund to fight any future cases of unfair competition. Meanwhile, BA chairman Lord King of Wartnaby has resigned in disgrace, and business leaders in England are left to ponder what possessed a great airline to resort to such shoddy practices against a tiny competitor.

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