British Airways price-fixing trial collapses

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A trial of four top British Airways (BA) executives over alleged price-fixing collapsed on Monday after prosecutors offered no evidence.

BA's sales and marketing director Andrew Crawley, 43, ex-communications chief Iain Burns, 51, as well as Alan Burnett, 63, and Martin George, 47, had all denied a cartel charge.

Lawyer Richard Latham, prosecuting the case on behalf of the Office of Fair Trading, told Southwark Crown Court in London that he would offer "no evidence".

The four had been on trial facing a cartel charge alleging they agreed with three Virgin Atlantic bosses to fix the price of airline fuel surcharges between 2004 and 2006.

Any such deal could have yielded higher profits for both airlines.

Three Virgin Atlantic executives had been granted immunity from prosecution in return for giving evidence for the prosecution in the trial.

© 2010 AFP

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