Brazil Chile and Israel airlines fined

ABSA Cargo, LAN Cargo and El Al Israel Airlines have pleaded guilty to conspiring to fix airfreight prices and have been fined a total of US$124.7 million.

LAN Cargo agreed to pay the US Justice Department an $88 million fine over five years, ABSA Cargo will pay a fine of $21 million over the same period and El Al will pay a $15.7 million.

“The company already had established a $75 million reserve in anticipation of a financial penalty. The reserve amounts were offset against the company’s results for 2007 and for the third quarter 2008,” LAN Cargo said in a statement.

US prosecutors have now collected more than $1 billion in criminal fines from the ongoing air cargo price-fixing investigation.

The airlines fixed prices for fresh flowers, heavy equipment and other goods between February 2003 and February 2006.

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