Breaking - High Court Rules Against ANZ, Garuda in Cargo Cartel Case

The High Court of Australia last week ruled that price fixing agreements entered into between Air New Zealand Ltd (Air NZ), PT Garuda Indonesia Ltd (Garuda), and other international airlines, which occurred between 2002 and 2006, breached Australia’s competition law.

Air New Zealand faces penalties in Australian cartel case
Air New Zealand faces penalties in Australian cartel case

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took action against Air NZ in 2009, and Garuda in 2010, alleging they colluded with other airlines on charges for fuel, security, insurance surcharges, and a customs fee, for the carriage of airfreight from origin ports in Hong Kong (both airlines), Singapore (Air NZ) and Indonesia (Garuda) to destination ports in Australia.

Appeals dismissed
The High Court unanimously dismissed the appeals by each airline and held that all aspects of the market, including the presence of customers in Australia, need to be considered in deciding whether a market is ‘in Australia’.
Between 2008 and 2010, the ACCC took proceedings against 15 international airlines. 13 airlines settled, with Federal Court judges imposing penalties totaling A$98.5 million.
Competition regulators around the world have taken action in relation to the air cargo cartel, with fines or penalties ordered against various airlines in Europe, the U.S., South Korea, New Zealand, Canada, and India.

Nol van Fenema

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