USPS Collects Another $3.7 Million In Airline Companies Price-Fixing Scheme

The ongoing investigation into air cargo transportation price fixing has another airline “paying up.” All Nippon Airways (ANA) pleaded guilty to two counts of price fixing and was ordered to pay a $73 million criminal fine — with 5 percent of that amount ($3.65 million) paid directly to the U.S. Postal Service.

ANA becomes the third airline to be fined as part of an anti-trust investigation into a price-fixing scheme involving rates and surcharges air cargo carriers were charging their customers.

This latest action is part of the joint investigative effort spearheaded by the Department of Justice that started in 2008 and includes the Postal Service Office of Inspector General. As a result, several airline companies and their executives have 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 these price-fixing schemes, USPS ended up paying higher cargo shipping rates.

In 2009, Nippon Cargo Airlines paid the Postal Service $4.5 million (Link, 10/27/09) and Northwest Airlines last year paid the Postal Service $3.8 million (Link, 10/07/10) for their roles in the price-fixing scheme. With the latest $3.65 million payment by All Nippon Airways, the amount in fines paid to the USPS now totals $11.95 million.

source: USPS News Link