June 9, 2011

Labaton Sucharow LLP Secures Additional $155.5 Million in Settlements in In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation

NEW YORK (June 9, 2011) - Labaton Sucharow LLP, Co-Lead Counsel, announces new partial settlements with Defendant British Airways Plc ($89.5 million) and Defendants LAN Airlines, S.A., LAN Cargo S.A., and Aerolinhas Brasileiras, S.A. ($66 million) in In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1775, raising the total settlements in this action to $433.9 million.  

The action is pending before the Honorable John Gleeson in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  Judge Gleeson has already granted final approval of $203 million in partial settlements with Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Lufthansa Cargo AG, Swiss International Air Lines Ltd., Société Air France, Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V., Martinair Holland N.V., Scandinavian Airlines System, SAS Cargo Group A/S, Japan Airlines International Co., Ltd., AMR Corporation and American Airlines.  The Court has also preliminarily approved $75.4 million in partial settlements with All Nippon Airways, Cargolux Airlines International S.A., Qantas Airways Limited and Thai Airways International Public Company Limited.  The case continues against remaining Defendants. 

The case is being prosecuted on behalf of a proposed class of direct purchasers of airfreight shipping services.   Plaintiffs allege that Defendants engaged in a global conspiracy to unlawfully inflate the prices charged to ship goods by air transportation between January 1, 2000 and September 11, 2006 by, among other practices, colluding on various surcharges and agreeing to eliminate or prevent shipping discounts and commissions in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. 

Over 20 Defendants have pleaded guilty in the Department of Justice's ongoing investigation into price fixing in the air transportation industry and one airline was accepted into the DOJ's Amnesty Program.  These airlines have paid or agreed to pay criminal fines exceeding $1.8 billion.