3 airlines to pay $214 million for price fixing
The U.S. Justice Department said Thursday that three airlines — Cargolux Airlines International S.A., Nippon Cargo Airlines Co. Ltd., and Asiana Airlines Inc. — agreed to pay a total of $214 million in criminal fines for conspiring to fix prices in the air cargo industry.
In addition, Asiana was charged with fixing passenger fares charged on flights from the United States to Korea.
According to the charges filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia the three airlines engaged in a conspiracy to eliminate competition by fixing the cargo rates charged to customers for international air shipments.
Cargolux agreed to pay a $119 million criminal fine for fixing rates from as early as September 2001 through Feb. 14, 2006.
NCA agreed to pay $45 million criminal fine for actions from about April 2000 to Feb. 14, 2006.
Asiana agreed to pay $50 million for fixing both cargo rates and passenger fares from as early as January 2000 until at least Feb. 14, 2006.
The three carriers have agreed to cooperate with Justice Department in an ongoing investigation of the air transportation industry.
“Fifteen airlines and three executives have been prosecuted to date for their participation in price-fixing agreements that inflicted a heavy toll on American businesses and consumers as well as the global economy,” said Scott D. Hammond, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division. “The department will continue its investigation into this criminal conduct until all co-conspirators are brought to justice.”
Justice said the other dozen that have pleaded or agreed to plead guilty in its investigation into price fixing in the air transportation industry are: British Airways, Korean Airlines, Qantas, Japan Airlines, Martinair, Cathay Pacific, SAS Cargo Group, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, LAN Cargo, Aerolinhas Brasileiras, and EL AL Israel Airlines. Ltd. Collectively, the companies have paid or agreed to pay fines totaling more than $1.6 billion.