Ex-Air France-KLM execs indicted in price-fixing case

27th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Two former executives of Air France-KLM's cargo division were indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday in Chicago on charges of conspiring with other airline companies to fix prices.

Marc Boudier, former executive vice president of Air France's cargo division, and Jean Charles Foucault, former vice president for sales and marketing for the cargo division, face up to 10 years in prison and a million dollar fine if convicted.

"Boudier and Foucault carried out a conspiracy by fixing and coordinating rates on air cargo shipments to certain US locations and elsewhere and surcharges on air cargo shipments to and from the United States and elsewhere," the Justice Department alleged.

"According to the indictment, Boudier and Foucault participated in the conspiracy from at least as early as August 2004 until at least February 2006," it said.

In all, 21 companies and 21 executives, including Boudier and Foucault, have been accused of price fixing as a result of a US investigation conducted over a period of several years in the United States and Europe.

In 2008, four airlines, including Air France-KLM, admitted to an attempt to fix prices for air freight to the United States. Air France-KLM had to pay a 350 million fine, the second largest ever in an anti-trust case.

Air France, KLM and the Franco-Dutch group's Martinair Holland were ordered to pay fines totalling 10 million Canadian dollars (8.7 million dollars US) to Canada for the same offenses.

Air France-KLM, meanwhile, has appealed a fine of nearly 350 million euros imposed by the European Commission as a result of the price-fixing affair.

The company has been sued by hundreds of European companies, including Philips and Ericsson, who are seeking more than 500 million euros in damages caused by the scheme.

© 2011 AFP

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