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'The trauma of competition': The entry of Air Products Inc. into the industrial gases business in Britain and continental Europe, 1947-70


  • Ralf Banken
  • Ray Stokes


The British Oxygen Company (BOC) had a virtual monopoly on the supply of industrial gases (e.g. oxygen and acetylene) on the British market through the 1950s, when it was finally challenged by an American-based company, Air Products. Air Products Limited (APL) was able to undercut BOC's position, overcoming high barriers to entry to gain significant market share in this sector, which shares some features of network industries. Factors in this success included conditions imposed by the Board of Trade, APL's innovations, BOC's slow response, and favourable market conditions. APL's success had implications for the internationalisation of the industrial gases industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Ralf Banken & Ray Stokes, 2010. "'The trauma of competition': The entry of Air Products Inc. into the industrial gases business in Britain and continental Europe, 1947-70," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(7), pages 1068-1085.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:52:y:2010:i:7:p:1068-1085
    DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2010.523462

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