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Japan Airlines fined for price fixing

  13.04.2011    

Australia's Federal Court has fined Japan Airlines Co Ltd A$5.5 million (US$5.8 million) for its role in an air cargo cartel, making it the seventh airline penalised by authorities in the probe.
According to a statement by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Federal Court in Melbourne ordered the fine based on Japan Airlines' admission of its role in breaching the price fixing provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Graeme Samuel said this represents the seventh international airline to settle the ACCC's air cargo proceedings.
"This outcome continues to send a clear message to those involved in cartel behaviour - the ACCC will not stop its endeavours to identify and bring to an end illegal price fixing," he said.
Today's penalties combined with those already ordered against other international airlines bring the total pecuniary penalties ordered in Australia against the illegal cartel to A$46.5 million.
The ACCC instituted proceedings against JAL last May, alleging it reached understandings with other airlines on the imposition of fuel surcharges during the period December 2003 to October 2005, insurance and security surcharges from January 2003 to October 2006 on freight from Singapore to many destinations including Australia.
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.
Mr Samuel said JAL's admissions today were being made at a very early stage in the litigation. "The company has agreed to facilitate further assistance from JAL personnel and to provide access to additional documents for use against other respondents. This cooperation has earned it a significant discount on the penalty that otherwise would have been sought," Mr Samuel said.


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