(TVLW) – Australia’s biggest airline Qantas pleaded guilty to fixing prices for international cargo shipments and agreed to pay a $70 million fine.
The U.S. Department of Justice had accused Qantas of conspiring to eliminate competition by fixing the rates for cargo shipments to and from the United States from January 2000 to the beginning of last year. As part of the plea agreement, Qantas agreed to cooperate with a continuing investigation into the matter.
Qantas became the third international airline this year to admit to price fixing, after British Airways and Korean Air Lines pleaded guilty in August.
Peter Harbison is the managing director of Sydney consulting firm Asia Pacific Aviation. He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he does not expect Qantas’ guilty plea to affect the airlines’ passenger business.
“This sort of thing tends to stay pretty much beneath the surface,” he said. “It’s obviously not something that they want to have against their name but it’s not something that reverberates with passengers, I think.”