The European Commission has readopted its decision to impose a fine against a cartel of 11 air cargo carriers for price-fixing.
The original decision was annulled in December 2015 on technical grounds following an initial ruling in 2010 that imposed a fine of €776.5 million. The 11 companies fined were Air Canada, Air France-KLM, British Airways, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, LAN Chile, Martinair, Qantas, SAS and Singapore Airlines.
“Millions of businesses depend on air cargo services, which carry more than 20 percent of all EU imports and nearly 30 percent of EU exports. Working together in a cartel rather than competing to offer better services to customers does not fly with the commission. Today’s decision ensures that companies that were part of the air cargo cartel are sanctioned for their behaviour,” said Margrethe Vestage, EC Competition Commissioner.
Air France and KLM face the largest fine with originally assessed penalties of €182 million and €127 million, respectively. A 12th cartel member, Lufthansa, and its subsidiary, Swiss International Air Lines, received full immunity from fines.
“The commission maintains that these air cargo carriers participated in a price-fixing cartel, and is adopting a new decision and re-establishing the fines. This new decision addresses the procedural error identified by the General Court while remaining identical in terms of the anti-competitive behaviors targeted by the commission,” an EC spokesperson said.
Photo: Air France faces the largest fine from the cartel. Credit: Wikimedia