Airfreight cartel case officially begins in New Zealand
The New Zealand Commerce Commission opened its case against several international airlines in connection with the December 2008 price-fixing scandal at the High Court in Auckland on May 11. The first section of the trial concerns whether the commission has jurisdiction over airfreight inbound to New Zealand.
Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Korean Air Lines, Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines Cargo and Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways are charged with inflicting fuel surcharges on airfreight shipped in and out of New Zealand. The airfreight cartel allegedly went on for more than seven years.
“Specifically, the commission alleges that the price-fixing arrangements, both in New Zealand and overseas, generated higher prices for air cargo services provided to and from New Zealand, and consequently for downstream markets to the detriment of companies and consumers within New Zealand,” Commission Council Brendan Brown said in a statement.
The second part of the trial, which will begin in July 2012, concern whether price-fixing actually transpired.