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British Airways: Dirty Tricks

In January 1993, Virgin Atlantic chief Richard Branson won a libel suit against Lord King's British Airways, which admitted to having launched a "dirty tricks" campaign against its rival. Among its many dodgy tactics? BA operatives leaked stories to the press impugning Virgin's safety standards; hacked into Virgin's reservations system; called Virgin customers, lied about cancellations, and switched them to BA flights; and circulated rumors that Branson had AIDS and that garbagemen were unwilling to collect the trash at a Branson-owned nightclub because it included HIV-infected needles!

[Branson won a public apology (and $900,000) from BA.]

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