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BA fined over cargo price fixing

The European Commission has imposed a 104 million euro (£90 million) fine on British Airways for its part in cargo route price fixing involving a number of airlines.

The EC fine follows penalties inflicted on BA in America, Canada and Australia for the offence which involved fuel surcharges on international airfreight.

Air France and Dutch carrier KLM were among other airlines also fined by the EC.

Air France was fined the most - 183 million euro (£159 million) - and in total the airlines involved were fined nearly 800 million euro (£700 million).

The Commission said BA and the other carriers co-ordinated their action on fuel surcharges over a period of six years.

"It is deplorable that so many major airlines co-ordinated their pricing to the detriment of European businesses and European consumers," said European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia.

"With this decision the Commission is sending a clear message that it will not tolerate cartel behaviour."

The cartel operated from December 1999 to February 2006, said a Commission statement.

"The cartel arrangements consisted of numerous contacts between airlines, at both bilateral and multilateral level, covering flights from, to and within the EEA (European Economic Area).

"Airlines providing airfreight services primarily offer the transport of cargo to freight forwarders, who arrange the carriage of these goods including associated services and formalities on behalf of shippers."


From Belfast Telegraph