Qantas to plead guilty to cargo price-fixing charges

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Qantas Airways plans to plead guilty to charges over its involvement in an international air cargo cartel, and has agreed to pay a NZ$6.5 million ($4.7 million) fine.

The Oneworld carrier has agreed to settle with the New Zealand Commerce Commission, which initiated legal action against Qantas and 12 other carriers in 2008. Qantas was accused of price fixing in its cargo division between 2000 and 2006.

While the settlement terms are confidential, Qantas says they include an agreement to recommend to the New Zealand High Court that Qantas pays a fine of NZ$6.5 million. The airline is due to appear at a penalty hearing on 11 April, where it will plead guilty to the charges.

"This recommended penalty reflects a 50% discount for Qantas' cooperation with the commission in its investigation of the cartel," says the airline.