Korean Air pleaded guilty to price-fixing and was fined $5.5 million by Canada’s Competition Bureau, which to date has collected more than $22.6 million in fines as a result of an investigation into “anti-competitive” behaviour by international air carriers.
Korean Air is one of seven airlines to admit fixing the rates on air cargo surcharges for shipments on certain routes from Canada between April 2002 and February 2006.
“In particular, the companies admitted to communicating with competitors about the amount and timing of fuel surcharges,” which resulted in “an undue lessening of competition in Canada,” the bureau said.
Air France, KLM and British Airways are among the others convicted under the Competition Act. They received fines between $4 million and $5 million.
“Conspiracies to fix prices are a serious criminal offence that harm everyone but the perpetrators who cheat the system,” bureau spokeswoman Melanie L. Aitken said. “The bureau is committed to pursuing those who engage in anti-competitive behaviour that harms Canadian businesses and consumers.”