Would you crack an XL smile if your competitor went bust?

MichaelOLearyRyanair300.jpgI wonder how Michael O’Leary reacted to the news of XL Leisure’s demise.Last month he was relishing the fact high oil prices would result in a series of bankruptcies before the end of the year, boasting: “I hope prices stay high as it will get rid of a load of crappy competitors.”O’Leary’s a tabloid wet dream when it comes to giving good quote but arguably he’s only saying out loud what many entrepreneurs think inside. By and large, a business going bust is good for its competitors, right? And if you’re looking to take a majority share in a market you’re effectively looking to force others out, aren’t you?The fact a business going under also results in a fellow entrepreneur losing their pride and joy, redundancies and a host of disgruntled creditors is unpalatable of course, which is why most treat such news with a respectful dose of decorum.Some entrepreneurs, such as Absolute Radio chief exec Donnach O’Driscoll, take a different view to O'Leary altogether and are pro-competition. He talked this week of his desire for a burgeoning radio industry that’s needed if Absolute (formerly Virgin) is to hit its bold brand expansion targets. Secretly, he won’t want his rivals to be doing too well though, I’m sure.What do you think about your competition? Would you be glad to see them disappear? Outwardly sympathetic while inwardly revelling, perhaps? Or is your belief there’s enough business for everyone if the market’s strong?
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