“Several airline companies and their executives pleaded guilty for role their in fixing prices”
A second airline has “paid up” as part of an anti-trust investigation into a price-fixing scheme involving rates and surcharges air cargo carriers were charging their customers.
Most recently, Northwest Airlines pleaded guilty Aug. 27 to one count of price fixing and was ordered to pay a $38 million criminal fine — with 10 percent of that amount paid directly to the U.S. Postal Service.
This is the latest action in a joint investigation spearheaded by the Department of Justice that started in 2008 and included the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG). As a result, several airline companies and their executives pleaded guilty for their role in fixing prices in the air cargo transportation industry.
The Postal Service contracts with both domestic and international air carriers to transport mail as cargo. As a result of the price-fixing, the Postal Service ended up paying higher cargo shipping rates.
Last year, Nippon Cargo Airlines paid the Postal Service $4.5 million for its role in price-fixing (Link, 10/27/09). Combined with the Northwest Airlines payment of $3.8 million, this brings the total amount of fines paid to USPS to $8.3 million. This case marks the latest success of the OIG’s Major Fraud Investigations Division.