In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation

Summary of Pending Case:

This lawsuit was filed on behalf of a proposed class of Plaintiffs who purchased airfreight shipping services directly from Defendants, certain major domestic and international air cargo service providers. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants participated in a global conspiracy between January 1, 2000 and the present to unlawfully inflate the prices charged to ship goods by air transportation.  Several related suits are pending before Judge Gleeson in the Eastern District of New York.

Defendants include: ACE Aviation Holdings, Inc., Air Canada, AC Cargo LP, Air France ADS, Air France-KLM Group ADS, Air France Cargo ADS, Air France-KLM Cargo ADS, Asian Airlines, British Airways, Cargolux Airlines International S.A., Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Lufthansa Cargo, Japan Airlines International Company LTD, Korean Air Company, Ltd., Lan Airlines S.A., Nippon Cargo Airlines Co., Ltd., Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., Polar Air Cargo S.A., SAS AB, dba SAS Group, SAS Cargo Group A/S, Singapore Airlines Limited, Singapore Airlines Cargo Pte Ltd, Swiss International Air Lines Ltd., UAL Corporation, United Airlines Inc., United Airlines Cargo Inc., Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited, and the International Air Transport Association.

Defendant Lufthansa, one of the largest airfreight services providers in the world, agreed to settle the U.S. portion of the case against it for $85 million, as well as to cooperate with Plaintiffs by providing critical evidence of the conspiracy. Lufthansa also disclosed the conspiracy to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), and as a result, was accepted into the DOJ’s leniency program. On September 25, 2009, Judge Gleeson granted final approval of the settlement.

At least 15 of the defendants named in the litigation have also pled guilty to federal criminal antitrust violations collectively paying over $1.5 billion in criminal fines to the United States government. Many of the defendants are also the subject of proceedings before various competition regulatory authorities throughout the world, including in the European Union and Australia, relating to their participation in the worldwide conspiracy.

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