German shippers join cartel claims lawsuit

German carmaker BMW and car supplier Bosch are joining German railway Deutsche Bahn in a $2.4bn claim for damages against airlines involved in a global air cargo cartel between 1999 and 2006.
Spokespeople for BMW and Bosch told Reuters that the companies had joined the lawsuits, announced by Deutsche Bahn’s DB Schenker logistics subsidiary in December.
Weekend reports in the German business press also reported that tyre maker Continental and global forwarders Kuehne + Nagel and Panalpina were also seeking damages from the air cargo cartel members, but the companies could not immediately be reached for comment, said Reuters.
DB Schenker is seeking approximately $370m in the US and $2.2bn in Germany – including interest — from air cargo carriers found guilty by the US Department of Justice, the European Commission and other international authorities for operating a global price-fixing cartel.
In August last year, divisional corporate parent Schenker AG filed a complaint against Air France, KLM, Martinair, Cargolux, Qantas, SAS and All Nippon Airways in the Eastern District of New York.
The complaint alleges that, in coordinating surcharge pricing for shipments to, from and within the US, the airlines violated US antitrust laws.
All defendants named in the Schenker AG complaint pleaded guilty in Department of Justice proceedings. 
The German lawsuit, filed in December 2013 in Cologne, alleges defendants Deutsche Lufthansa, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Swiss Airlines, Cargolux, SAS, Air Canada, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines and Qantas were involved in the same conspiracy affecting airfreight shipments worldwide.
Three of the seven airlines named in the US price-fixing lawsuit by DB Schenker have now filed motions to dismiss the action.
All Nippon Airways and Cargolux argued that the German-based forwarder had been ‘forum shopping’ – choosing the jurisdiction in which any damages payable were likely to be higher.
The two carriers argued that the case should have been brought in Germany, with many of the witnesses and documentation located in Europe.
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