Air India settles and brings price-fixing lawsuit to an end

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Air India is the latest and last air cargo carrier to settle as part of an antitrust lawsuit over price-fixing after agreeing to payout $12 million.

The settlement is subject to court approval by United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and it is the 28th to be made in the last decade.

The total settled by carriers has now exceeded $1.2 billion and Air India is the last to agree compensation to buyers of air cargo services. Air New Zealand settled for $35 million earlier this month.

Defendants were seeking settlements of air cargo shipping services for shipments to or from the US between 1 January, 2000, and 30 September, 2006, and compensation for alleged overcharges sustained as a result of a price-fixing conspiracy.

Settlements with Air China and Air China Cargo and Polar Air Cargo, Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, and Atlas Air Worldwide reaching $150 million have been granted preliminary approval by the court.

Polar Air Cargo, which along with Polar Air Cargo Worldwide and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings has agreed on a $100 million settlement.

Korean Air has paid out the most at $115 million, followed by Polar Air Cargo, while other high settlements have included EVA Airways at $99 million, Singapore Airlines at $92 million, China Airlines at $90 million, British Airways at $89 million, Lufthansa at $85 million, and Air France-KLM-Martinair for $87 million.

Legal firm Robins Kaplan represented some plaintiffs and co-lead counsel for the plaintiff class and co-chair of the Antitrust and Trade Regulation practice group, Hollis Salzman says: “After more than a decade of relentless effort, we are pleased to add these final settlements to our existing recoveries and achieve justice for those impacted by the defendants’ alleged anticompetitive practices.

“The court correctly described this case as ‘irrefutably complex,’ and we were honored to pursue it on behalf of the victims of collusion among air cargo shipping providers.”