EU may be lenient with cargo price fixers

JOAQUIN Almunia (right), the European Union’s (EU) new competition commissioner, has said that he may be willing to negotiate more lenient fines to airlines convicted of airfreight price fixing.

After 17 makers of bathroom fixtures were fined a total of €622 million (US$767 million) recently for price fixing, Almunia reduced the fines of five of them to prevent them going bankrupt. He said that he would consider doing the same for airlines.

However, he denied that this was a sign of him being soft on such crimes. “The tone is a personal thing, but I would not want to send the wrong signal. I am not at all conciliatory, and I am very tough on cartels.”

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