Major European airlines have been raided by European Commission inspectors due to allegations the companies were conspiring to fix the price of air freight, according to the commission. The commission carried out “unannounced inspections” at several air cargo carriers in member states, but did not name the companies.
British Airways said it had received a request for information from both the EU executive and the U.S. Justice Department as part of a probe into a suspected cartel of airlines and air freight carriers. Both Air France and Deutsche Lufthansa AG reported they were being investigated by the EU and would fully cooperate in the probe.
The EU commission was accompanied by counterparts from the relevant national competition authorities during the raids. If price fixing is confirmed, the commission could impose fines on the airlines.
The commission’s competition spokesman Jonathan Todd said, “The commission has reason to believe that the companies concerned may have violated Article 81 EC-Treaty, which prohibits practices such as price fixing.” Todd would neither confirm nor deny when asked whether the commission was working with U.S. authorities on the case.