ACCC institutes proceedings against Malaysian airline companies for alleged price fixing of air freight

13 April 2010

On 9 April 2010 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Malaysian Airline System Berhad and its wholly-owned cargo subsidiary Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn Bhd.

Malaysian Airline System Berhad is the thirteenth airline to be the subject of ACCC proceedings for alleged price fixing in the air cargo industry.

The ACCC alleges that between 2001 and 2006, Malaysian Airline System Berhad and Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn Bhd entered into arrangements or understandings with other international air cargo carriers that had the purpose or effect of fixing the price of a fuel surcharge and a security surcharge that were applied to air cargo carried by them and other airlines.

The ACCC alleges that arrangements or understandings were reached in Indonesia and Hong Kong for fuel surcharges applied to cargo originating in those countries. The ACCC also alleges arrangements or understandings were reached in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore for a security surcharge applied to cargo originating in those countries.

The ACCC is seeking declarations, injunctive relief, pecuniary penalties, and costs.

A directions hearing has been set down for 22 April 2010 before Justice Jacobson in the Federal Court, Sydney.

Proceedings have also been instituted against Singapore Airlines Cargo Pte Ltd, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, Emirates, PT Garuda Indonesia Ltd, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited and Korean Air Lines Co. Ltd. Proceedings against other airlines have also been concluded resulting in penalties totalling $41 million.

The ACCC continues to investigate other airlines with the assistance of cooperating parties.

Release number: 
NR 072/10
ACCC Infocentre: 

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