Qantas and British Airways fined for price fixing

Qantas will pay a $20 million fine after admitting to price fixing air freight cargo

Qantas will pay the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)$20 million after admitting to colluding with British Airways to fix air-cargo freight surcharges.

Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon admitted to the breach, which occurred between 2001 and 2006.

The fine is the second largest issued to an individual company in the ACCC’s history.

British Airways will also pay $5 million to the ACCC.

Qantas and British Airways are also being sued by their customers and 20 multinational companies.

Qantas was also found guilty of a similar offence in the US in November last year. It was fined $61 million, while Qantas’ US freight director was sent to jail.

ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel says Qantas has been assisting the ACCC in its investigations of the breach as well as instances where other airlines may be guilty of price fixing.

"As soon as the Qantas board learned of the conduct, it instructed its legal department and staff to make an exhaustive investigation and to provide full assistance," he says.

"Its behaviour after learning of the conduct in its freight division has set a standard we would hope all companies finding themselves in a similar position would follow."

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