EUROPE & CIS: Air France-KLM settles US class action suit
Air France and Dutch partners KLM and Martinair have said they have reached a settlement with plaintiffs on a US civil class action suit brought against them for conspiring to fix air cargo rates. But the settlement does not affect the outcome of a European Union (EU) anti-trust probe, which is still pending. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Pending its […]
August 1, 2010
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Pending its approval by the US court, the accord, in exchange for payment of US$87 million (Ã¢â€šÂ¬69 million), ends all civil action against the three companies… concerning the US air cargo market between 2000 and 2006,Ã¢â‚¬Â they said in a statement.
The three companies now operate as one under the Air France-KLM group, following their merger in 2004.
The civil class action suits were filed in 2006 after the US and EU authorities launched a probe into price rigging of the US cargo market. Four major airlines, including Air France-KLM and Cathay Pacific Airways, had to pay US fines worth US$504 million when they were found guilty in 2008 of conspiring to fix air cargo prices.
Air France-KLM paid the largest amount, US$350 million, to settle this criminal case, leaving the civil plaintiffs in the US to pursue their claims. US Justice Department officials said at the time the airlines plotted to Ã¢â‚¬Å“suppress and eliminateÃ¢â‚¬Â competition by fixing cargo freight rates charged to customers for international air shipments.