JAL raises its hands over cargo price-fixing

Almost as if it were a note to self, Japan Airlines sent the media this note this week:

JAL Memo: JAL International Enters Into Plea Agreement with the US Department of Justice Concerning International Air Cargo Business.

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The announcement by the Japanese flag carrier is the latest in an on-going string of investigations and plea bargains into price-fixing in the airline business. We’ve been following them closely here at Airline Business – links to all we’ve done so far follow at the end of this story.

The release went like this: “On April 16, 2008 (US time) Japan Airlines International Co Ltd, the main airline operating subsidiary of the JAL Group, entered into a plea agreement with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in which JALI agrees to plead guilty concerning certain alleged violations of the antitrust laws in the US/trans-Pacific international air cargo business and to pay a fine of US$110 million (equivalent to JPY 11.0 billion yen approx).

The United States Department of Justice has been conducting an investigation of the international air cargo business since February 14, 2006…Japan Airlines Corporation set aside a reserve of approximately 11.5 billion yen for a potential DOJ fine in this matter when it announced on November 6, 2007 its consolidated half-year results for the six months ending September 30, 2007.”

Here’s what we’ve covered in this saga:

Carriers pay up for price-fixing.

The first airline price-fixing fines are revealed.

Fear factor: the impact of price-fixing accusations on the air cargo industry.

Cargo confession race: Qantas is the latest to plead gulity.

Under a cloud: top airline executives pay the price.

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