When I was at American Airlines, we had to match the public pricing and public tier status benefits. For example, being AAdvantage Gold was exactly the same as being gold on Delta, Continental, and United.
Same 25,000 miles to earn status, same burn tables to redeem miles, and same restrictions. In a competitive market, we had to keep matching.
I came up with a 5,000 mile first time booking bonus for buying online, which all the other airlines immediately copied.