Qantas makes plea agreement with the United States government


On 28 November, Australia's Qantas Airways settled its liability to the US Government for illegal price-fixing within its Freight Division. The airline has agreed to pay a multimillion-dollar fine of USD61m.

According to Qantas' CEO, Geoff Dixon, the price-fixing was levied via fuel surcharges in the international air cargo market between 2000 and 2006. The airline stresses that the price-fixing was only applicable to its Freight Division and did not impact upon its passenger business.

The investigation into the illegal activity began following allegations in May 2006, at which point Qantas offered its full cooperation to the US Department of Justice and other antitrust regulators.

Qantas confirmed that it included a provision to pay any fines imposed of USD40m in its 2006/2007 financial statements and does not expect the excess of the fine to affect any future operating results.

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