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From Antitrust Law Daily, March 25, 2016

Airlines to pay $190M in air cargo price fixing suit

By Greg Hammond, J.D.

The federal district court has granted final approval of three settlement agreements in an action alleging that various airlines conspired to unlawfully fix prices of airfreight shipping services worldwide, in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Asiana Airlines, Inc.EVA Airways Corp., and Nippon Cargo Airlines Co., Ltd. have agreed to pay a collective $190.35 million to settle the price fixing claims (In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation, March 24, 2016 Cogan, B.).

Direct purchasers of air freight shipping services filed a series of class action suits against Asiana, EVA, and Nippon, among other airlines, alleging that the carriers conspired to unlawfully fix the prices of air freight shipping services worldwide, including cargo shipments to and from the United States by concertedly levying artificially inflated surcharges. After extensive negotiations, the plaintiffs reached several settlement agreements, under which Asiana agreed to pay $55 million, Nippon agreed to pay $36.35 million, and EVA agreed to pay $99 million.

The court previously certified a settlement class consisting of all persons or entities who purchased Airfreight Shipping Services for shipments to, from or within the United States directly from Settling Defendant, any other Defendant, or from any of their parents, predecessors, successors, subsidiaries, or affiliates, at any time during the period from January 1, 2000, up to and including September 11, 2006.

The case is No. 06-MD-1775 (BMC)(VVP).

Attorneys: Robert N. Kaplan (Kaplan, Kilsheimer & Fox, LLP) and David Jaroslawicz (Jaroslawicz & Jaros) for Plaintiffs. James Vernon Dick (Squire Patton Boggs US LLP) for Defendants. James J. Mutchnik (Kirkland & Ellis LLP) for EVA Airways Corp. John R. Fornaciari (Baker & Hostetler LLP) for Nippon Cargo Airlines Co., Ltd. Ian Simmons (O’Melveny & Myers LLP) for Asiana Airlines, Inc.

Companies: ABM International, Inc.; Ace Aviation Holdings, Inc.; Spraying Systems Co.; Fleurchem, Inc.; British Airways; Fleurchem, Inc.; Asiana Airlines, Inc.; Nippon Cargo Airlines Co., Ltd.; EVA Airways Corp.

MainStory: TopStory Antitrust NewYorkNews

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