Qantas penalty kick-starts cartel case

FIRST in the firing line at the New Zealand Commerce Commission’s case against the price-fixing cartel today was Qantas, which has been ordered to pay a record NZ$6.5 million (US$5.1 million) fine.

The pre-trial settlement could have been as much as NZ$13 million ($10.2 million) but the judge gave a 50 per cent discount for Qantas’ high level of cooperation with the investigation.

Qantas has been praised for providing extensive evidence and documents detailing the collusive fuel surcharge understanding and its own participation in it. Qantas has also made its staff available as witnesses in the cartel case against the various airlines.

Airlines continuing to defend the charges are Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Japan Airlines International, Korean Air Lines, Malaysian Airlines System Berhad, Singapore Airlines Cargo and Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways International Public Company.

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