Asian carriers hit by NZ fines

THREE major international airlines have been penalised a total of US$8million for systematically operating a cartel on air cargo shipments flown into New Zealand, according to the country’s Commerce Commission.
These latest penalties bring the total number of airlines penalised by New Zealand in the price-fixing scandal to 10 – and the total penalties to more than US$30m.
The latest High Court judgment ruled against the three Asian carriers Cathay Pacific Airways, Thai Airways International and Malaysian Airlines subsidiary MASkargo System, for price fixing between February 2000 and February 2006.
"The penalties are a reminder to both New Zealand and overseas-based companies that colluding on prices is illegal and may result in substantial penalties under the Commerce Act. The commission is committed to pursuing cartels that affect New Zealand markets," says Commerce Commission chair Dr Mark Berry.
The regulator filed proceedings against 13 airlines in December 2008, alleging they had colluded to impose fuel and security surcharges for air cargo shipments to and from New Zealand.
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