Airline SAS Norway has been ordered to pay millions in damages to rival Norwegian Air after being found guilty of illegally accessing sensitive data.
SAS Norway – a subsidiary of SAS International – will pay NOK132 million (£20 million) in damages, after improperly using information regarding Norwegian via the Amadeus booking system.
SAS Group had also received an e-mail from a travel agency employee allegedly containing business secrets.
“We are very pleased the Court of Appeal has ordered SAS to pay Norwegian close to NOK175 million in damages for the industrial espionage that we were exposed to,” said Norwegian chief executive Bjørn Kjos.
The case dates back to a period between September 2002 and March 2004, with an earlier decision by the district court of Asker og Bærum also going in favour of Norwegian Air.
However, following that ruling, SAS Group appealed, claiming Norwegian had not suffered any financial losses as a result of the events.
Norwegian also appealed and claimed higher damages than the awarded sum.
Court of Appeal
Following a protracted legal battle, Borgarting Court of Appeal ruled SAS Group will have to pay the damages.
It is thought the decision will have a negative effect on the financial results and liquidity of SAS of approximately SEK200 million (£19 million).
“We are disappointed by the ruling of the Court of Appeal,” said SAS president Mats Jansson.
“We had hoped this matter had been resolved by this ruling, however, we note that it was not unanimous and we will now examine the ruling further to evaluate whether it should be appealed.”
Scandinavian airline SAS is part-owned by the governments of Sweden, Norway and Denmark.