Court Grants Class Certification in Air Cargo Price-Fixing Case - Global Trade Magazine
  July 15th, 2015 | Written by

Court Grants Class Certification in Air Cargo Price-Fixing Case

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  • In 2006 a class-action lawsuit was filed against air cargo carriers alleging price fixing.
  • U.S. District Court: Air-cargo plaintiffs have submitted evidence that suggests an agreement to fix prices.
  • Several air carriers have already settled claims of over $1 billion.

A United States district court expects that a class-action law suit will help resolve hundreds of thousands of claims against air cargo carriers.

A federal judge in New York last week certified a class of air cargo purchasers against a group of airlines in an antitrust lawsuit concerning illegal price-fixing of air cargo shipping services.

The litigation dates back to November 2006 when a class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of plaintiffs who purchased air cargo services directly from several domestic and international carriers. The plaintiffs allege that the defendants conspired to unlawfully inflate prices charged to ship goods by air beginning in 2000.

The most recent order approved the recommendation of a magistrate issued last year recommending that the court grant class certification. “Class certification will allow hundreds of thousands of claims to be resolved adequately, efficiently, and fairly,” the opnion of the magistrate reads. “Plaintiffs have submitted a trove of direct and circumstantial evidence that strongly suggests the existence of an agreement among the defendants to fix prices.”

Several airlines, including , Singapore Airlines, China Air, Asiana, Cathay Pacific, EVA Airways and Korean Air, have settled claims for more than $1 billion. The case continues against the remaining defendants, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, and Polar Air Cargo and its parent, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings.

Twenty-three defendants have pleaded guilty to their role in the conspiracy under a U.S. Department of Justice probe. Over 20 airlines have been identified as conspiracy participants in the European Union, and other airlines have been prosecuted in other areas of the world, including Canada, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

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