A Federal Court in Melbourne, Australia, ordered Japan Airlines to pay a fine worth $5.8 million in U.S. funds for violating Australian anti-trust law in its international cargo operations.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had filed a suit against JAL in May 2010, claiming that the carrier had been engaged in an international air cargo price-fixing cartel.
“JAL admitted to making and giving effect to illegal price fixing understandings with other international airlines that each of them would impose a fuel surcharge and an insurance and security surcharge on cargo carried internationally by air across their networks,” the ACCC said in a statement.
The ACCC said that the fuel surcharges were between December 2003 and October 2005 and the insurance and security surcharges were between January 2003 and October 2006.
“This outcome continues to send a clear message to those involved in cartel behavior – the ACCC will not stop its endeavors to identify and bring to an end illegal price fixing conduct,” said the ACCC’s chairman, Graeme Samuel.
The international air cargo price-fixing cartel case involves a total of 15 international airlines.
The ACCC said that JAL has become the seventh international airline to settle the ACCC's air cargo proceedings. The total amount of fines imposed on the seven airlines in Australia reached $48.7 million, the ACCC said.
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