Air France-KLM could be hit with claims of up to €500 million by hundreds of European companies, led by Ericsson and Philips, over alleged cargo price-fixing. The claim is being filled in a Dutch court today and represents the largest ever in Europe for damages resulting from cartel behaviour.
The companies claim they were overcharged by 10 percent for international air freight carried between 2000 and 2007 because of an illegal price-fixing deal between the airline and its sister cargo carrier Martinair.
The case is being brought in Amsterdam with papers to be filed on Thursday.
Air France-KLM paid a fine of $350m for conspiring to fix prices for air cargo rates, following a US Justice Department investigation in 2008. It also agreed to a $87m settlement of its civil liabilities in the US.
Claims Funding International (CFI) is the firm’s legal representative.
“It is unfair that the airline would pay money to its US victims but not its European victims,” said Peter Koutsoukis, CFI managing director.
CFI said there were several hundred claimants in the action from 11 EU countries, and a range of industries including the pharmaceutical, automotive, electronics, food and fashion sectors.
Koutsoukis added that CFI had opted for court action only when Air France-KLM did not respond to a request for negotiations.