Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 12:16 UK

Japan Airlines admits cargo fix

Japan Airlines plane
The airline is the largest cargo carrier between Japan and the US

Japan Airlines (JAL) is to be fined $110m (55.5m) after admitting that it helped to fix the price of cargo shipments between Japan and the US.

The airline has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges of taking part in a conspiracy with other airlines to thwart competition on key cargo routes.

Prosecutors said JAL earned about $2bn from the illegal practices which took place between 2000 and 2006.

BA, Korean Air and Qantas have already pleaded guilty to similar charges.

Consumer damage

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said JAL and other airlines had effectively "eliminated competition" by agreeing to synchronise prices for cargo shipped on flights to the US.

The airline's plea bargain is subject to court approval.

"This price-fixing conspiracy inflicted a heavy toll on American businesses and consumers," said Thomas Barnett, a senior official at the DOJ.

JAL said it had co-operated fully with the investigation - conducted jointly by the DOJ and the FBI - and would further strengthen its compliance procedures.

"The company will not tolerate any behaviour that contravenes such laws and regulations," the airline, Japan's largest, said.

A Japanese government spokesman described JAL's behaviour as "regrettable" but said the Japanese authorities would not be taking separate action against the carrier.

British Airways, Korean Air and Qantas have all previously agreed to pay sizeable fines after admitting their involvement in a price-fixing agreement over cargo shipments.

JAL in profit as turbulence lifts
08 Feb 08 |  Business
BA's price-fix fine reaches 270m
01 Aug 07 |  Business
Q&A: BA price-fixing investigation
01 Aug 07 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific