A frequent flyer scheme between Qantas and BP looks likely to go ahead after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said that it would authorise a deal allowing Qantas and the petrol giant to participate in the BP Rewards, Qantas Frequent Flyer and Qantas Business Reward programs.
“We consider that these arrangements will provide public benefits – for example, by giving consumers more opportunity to earn and use rewards program points,” said ACCC commissioner Stephen Ridgeway.
“The arrangements are also likely to provide cost savings to the parties by allowing BP to negotiate with Qantas on behalf of BP petrol station owners, rather than each station owner needing to negotiate individually.
Mr Ridgeway does not believe that there will be any significant negative impact on competition, reports Travel Weekly.
“Qantas has the biggest loyalty reward scheme in Australia in terms of member numbers, and BP is a major petrol retailer. However, there are many retailers, petrol and non-petrol, that could participate as partners in other loyalty programs,” he said.
“We do have some concerns about the potential for consumer harm arising from BP sharing consumer data with Qantas as a result of the arrangements, and we encourage BP and Qantas to adopt the recommendations regarding the collection and use of customer data in the ACCC’s final report into customer loyalty schemes when it is published.”
The ACCC is expected to release its final determination in February 2020. Until then, BP’s partnership with Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer remains in place.
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