Air France-KLM and others fined $500m for cargo cartel

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Air France-KLM and three other airline groups have been fined a total of $504 million after pleading guilty to participating in a cartel to fix air cargo transportation rates.

US Department of Justice regulators have imposed a $350 million fine on Air France-KLM and smaller penalties on SAS Cargo, Cathay Pacific and Martinair.

Charges filed against the airlines state that they engaged in a “conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition” by jointly fixing the rates of freight shipment.

The Department of Justice says the Air France-KLM fine is the second-highest ever to be levied in a criminal anti-trust prosecution.

Cathay Pacific is to pay $60 million for its part in the cartel, while SAS Cargo will pay $52 million and Martinair $42 million.