QANTAS AIRWAYS Limited has agreed to hand over $20 million in fines for its involvement in price fixing between 2002 and early 2006, and the ACCC is currently investigating more claims against other airlines.
The ACCC brought actions in the Federal Court against both Qantas and British Airways relating to fuel surcharges applied to international carriage of air cargo during that period.
ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said that Qantas and British Airways were the first airlines in the firing line because they had voluntarily made submissions under the ACCC’s Co-operation Policy.
“The ACCC continues to investigate other airlines, some of which are co-operating, while others are not. The ACCC expects to be able to resolve its investigations with other co-operating airlines shortly,” Samuel said.
According to an ACCC statement, the ACCC and Qantas agreed to the $20 million penalty, which it said reflected the serious nature of the offences and the Qantas’s large share of the market, but also its co-operation with the commission.
Australia is not alone in scrutinising the behaviour of international airlines. Qantas, for one, has already forked up millions of dollars to the US authorities for their involvement in international air cargo price fixing.