Australian High Court dismisses appeals by Air New Zealand and Garuda on airfreight price fixing

    High Court of Australia found (14-Jun-2017) air cargo price fixing arrangements entered into between Air New Zealand, Garuda Indonesia and other international airlines between 2002 and 2006 breached Australia‘s competition law. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took action against Air New Zealand in 2009 and Garuda Indonesia in 2010, alleging the airlines colluded with other carriers on charges for fuel, security, insurance and customs for the carriage of airfreight from Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia to Australia. ACCC was required to establish that the conduct occurred in a ‘market in Australia’. The High Court unanimously dismissed appeals by each airline and held that all aspects of the market, including the presence of customers in Australia, need to be considered in deciding whether a market is ‘in Australia’. The matters against the airlines will be remitted to the Federal Court for a hearing as to relief, including penalty. ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said “Today’s judgment sends a clear message that the ACCC is committed to pursuing cartel conduct that impacts on Australian business and consumers”.