Air France-KLM loses price fixing case; Fined €325 mil.
Air France, KLM, and Martinair have to pay over 325 million euros in fines for price-fixing for air freight transport, the General Court of the European Union ruled. KLM's share of the penalties amounts to 127 million euros.
Eight other freight carriers were also fined for being part of this cartel between 1999 and 2006. The total amount is almost 790 million euros.
According to the European Commission, the cartel members made mutual agreements about, for example, fuel and safety surcharges that they charged to shippers for over six years. For this, the watchdog in Brussels already imposed a fine of almost 800 million euros in 2010, but the European court scrapped the fine in 2015 due to a formal error.
In 2017, the European Commission again imposed a fine, with only Martinair getting a lower fine. Air France-KLM and the eight other airlines appealed against the fine, calling for it to be annulled.
In addition to Air France, KLM, and Martinair, British Airways, Air Canada, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, LAN Chile, and SAS participated in the cartel. Lufthansa was also involved but escaped a fine because it brought the abuses to the European Commission. The same applies to subsidiary Swiss.
With the fines, the General Court made a slightly different calculation than the European Commission. The fines for Japan Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, SAS Cargo, and LAN Chile are all slightly lower for various reasons.
The involved parties can appeal within two months to the European Court of Justice.
Reporting by ANP