Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Air Freight Cartel Antitrust Penalties on Cargo Carriers Now Close to Two Billion Dollars

Punishment in This Case Keeps Rolling on Even After a Decade of Litigation
Shipping News Feature
US – WORLDWIDE – Air China has entered in to a settlement agreement in the large multidistrict antitrust class action against air freight carriers in New York. Subject to Court approval, the Chinese airline along with its cargo carrying subsidiary, Air China Cargo, has agreed to pay $50 million to settle claims that they colluded with several competitors to fix inflated surcharges on air freight shipments to and from the US and worldwide.

To date, plaintiffs have entered into settlements with 26 defendant groups totalling $1.19 billion, of which settlements with 22 defendant groups for $848 million have been granted final approval by the court. This litigation is still pending against two defendants, Air India and Air New Zealand, and plaintiffs are preparing for a September 2016 trial against them.

It had been alleged that between, at the very least, 2000 and 2006, a group of air cargo carriers colluded to levy inflated surcharges, such as unwarranted fuel surcharges, to eliminate or prevent discounting of air cargo shipping services, to agree on yields, and to allocate customers or routes, thereby violating antitrust laws in various countries around the world, including Korea, Australia, and Canada, to name but a few.

This case is in regards to: Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation, 1:06-MD-1775 (JG) VVP

N.B. Endless tales of fraud and litigation in the industry can be found in the archives by a News Search for cartel or antitrust.