France-KLM and sister cargo carrier Martinair are being sued by hundreds of
European companies, led by Ericsson and Philips, the firms’ lawyer says.
carriers face claims of up to $681 million in compensation for alleged air
say they were overcharged by 10 per cent on international air freight between
2000 and 2007 because of an illegal price-fixing deal between airlines.
case is being brought in Amsterdam with papers to be filed today, Thursday.
France-KLM, which has declined to comment, paid a fine of $350 million for
conspiring to fix prices for air cargo rates, following a US Justice Department
probe in 2008.
also agreed to an $87 million settlement of its civil liabilities in the US.
firm Claims Funding International (CFI) is representing the firms, and is
paying their legal costs in return for a commission only if the lawsuit is
is unfair that the airline would pay money to its US victims but not its
European victims,” said Peter Koutsoukis, CFI managing director.
added that CFI had opted for court action only when Air France-KLM did not
respond to a request for negotiations.
said there were several hundred claimants in the action from 11 EU countries,
and numerous industries including the pharmaceutical, automotive, electronics,
food and fashion sectors.
Sweden’s Ericsson has
said it is one of the lead claimants, and CFI has named Philips Electronics as
the other lead claimant.