Thompson, John L. (2003) P&O Princess, Royal Caribbean and Carnival: only two can play. Case Study. ECCH.

A proposed merger between P&O Princess and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) in 2001, provoked a hostile takeover bid for P&O Princess by Carnival, the market leader and arch rival of RCCL in America. The hostility between the protagonists grew, in part fuelled by a dispute over a poison pill arrangement which underpinned the P&O Princess/RCCL merger. The intervention of competition regulators in both America and Europe became inevitable. P&O Princess refused to negotiate with Carnival. RCCL accused Carnival of merely engaging in spoiling tactics, claiming there was no real commitment to a takeover. In the end the shareholders in P&O Princess would have to choose, but the view of the competition authorities in Europe and America would be critical. Whilst the terms of the P&O Princess/RCCL merger remained constant, the Carnival offer terms were changed several times as the market leader fought hard to retain its dominant position.