CUSTOMER WRATH

After having been confronted by relentless law enforcement agencies in the US, Europe and Australia and agreeing to pay record fines to settle allegations of price-fixing on air freight services, the airline industry is now apparently facing the wrath of its clients. Furniture chain IKEA and clothing retailer Hennes & Mauritz were among the companies […]


After having been confronted by relentless law enforcement agencies in the US, Europe and Australia and agreeing to pay record fines to settle allegations of price-fixing on air freight services, the airline industry is now apparently facing the wrath of its clients.

Furniture chain IKEA and clothing retailer Hennes & Mauritz were among the companies which last month launched lawsuits against Scandinavian airline SAS. More lawsuits are expected to follow.

In June this year, SAS admitted its cargo subsidiary had violated US competition laws and agreed with the Department of Justice to pay a US$52 million fine. A separate European investigation is still underway.

As we all know, most airlines already are struggling to stay in the black because of high fuel costs, economic downturns in the US and in Europe, so any major fine imposed by the European Commission could have disastrous consequences.

Perhaps the EC and their counterparts could finally start investigating the more obvious price fixing cartels of oil companies and banks.