July 17, 2008

3 Foreign Airlines Face Charges Over Air Cargo Probe in New Zealand

3 foreign airlines face charges over air cargo probe in New Zealand

WELLINGTON, July 16 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand Commerce Commission has filed criminal charges against three airlines it says failed to co-operate during an investigation into air cargo practices, Radio New Zealand reported on Wednesday.

The investigation relates to allegations of price-fixing and other anti-competitive cartel conduct in the cargo industry.

The airlines being prosecuted are Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines Cargo and Aerolineas Argentinas.

The charges relate to the companies failing to provide documents and information as required under the Commerce Act, and carry fines of up to 30,000 NZ dollars (23,200 U.S. dollars).

The commission was investigating whether the airlines operated as a cartel, so that instead of competing against each other they worked together to keep prices high.

The commission's most recent cartel case, which concluded this year, was against three wood chemical companies, which were fined more than 7.5 million NZ dollars.

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