Singapore Airline Cargo fined for price-fixing

Last updated 15:06 21/12/2012

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A long-running legal action against air cargo price-fixing has claimed its seventh scalp, with Singapore Airlines Cargo ordered to pay a $4.1 million penalty.

Today's High Court judgment brings the total fines ordered in the cartel case to $25.48m.

The Commerce Commission had previously reached settlements with British Airways PLC, Cargolux Airlines International S.A, Emirates, Korean Air Lines, Qantas Airways and Japan Airlines International.

Singapore Airlines Cargo admitted it had agreed on fuel and security surcharges in Indonesia and Malaysia for cargo heading to New Zealand over a period of nearly four years.

The company received a 20 per cent discount to the penalty for admitting its guilt.

Commerce Commission chair Mark Berry was pleased to have settled with another airline, and said the fines imposed in the case should act as a deterrent to others who might breach the Commerce Act.

"The fines are also a reminder to companies that it is important to have effective compliance programmes in place to prevent anti-competitive behaviour," he said.

The Commission originally filed proceedings against 13 airlines in December 2008, alleging they had colluded to fix surcharges.

Four of those- Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airlines and Malaysian Airlines- have not yet settled.

Companies that break the price-fixing section of the Commerce Act are liable for fines of up to $10m or three times the commercial value of any gains made.

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