Monday, September 21, 2009

Qantas Anticipates Heavy Future Fines

Airline assigns A$30 million for contingency
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – In its annual report to shareholders yesterday Australian airline Qantas revealed that it is to allocate A$30 million to cover future costs arising from its illegal freight cartel activities around the globe. The company also warned that the amount may have to be increased in the future as investigations and court cases involving accusations of price fixing are ongoing at this time.

Although the company states that it will continue to defend its previous actions it notes that apart from regulators looking at whether it has breached relevant competition laws several third-party class actions in both the US and Australia are also in the process of being readied concerning the allegations.

The airline has already been subject to a A$20 million fine from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for price-fixing between 2002 and 2006 and a US$61 million penalty by the US Justice Department in 2007. Qantas has also agreed to pay a C$155,000 fine in Canada to resolve regulatory liability.