Agree on that one
If you cant beat them,join them (their technique ?)
I really cant see how one competitor with many sites is different them a lot of different competitors.
i would suggest just to try to cover as much space as you can with your sites.
Nevertheless, being unique and on top has more power then duplicates.
people want to compare prices/services etc before they make a decision, so being unique is important, but i would go with making your own competition.