German logistics and rail company Deutsche Bahn has reached an undisclosed settlement with Lufthansa over an alleged air freight cartel that operated between 1999-2006.
In 2010, fines totalling nearly €800 million were levied by the European Commission against 11 air freight carriers including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Air Canada and Air France-KLM, for price-fixing over fuel and safety charges. Lufthansa was not hit by the fines after serving as a principal witness.
However, in 2013, DB Barnsdale, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, pursued damage claims at the Regional Court of Cologne against all the carriers involved in the cartel—including Lufthansa—on behalf of its forwarding arm, DB Schenker, and several other shipping and forwarding companies.
DB Barnsdale has already settled with Air France-KLM, Qantas, SAS and Singapore Airlines. Proceedings continue with Air Canada, British Airways, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and LAN Chile.
“After intense negotiations with Lufthansa, we were able to find a good solution for both sides,” said Martin Seiler, Member of the Management Board of DB for Human Resources and Legal Affairs.
“Instead of continuing costly legal proceedings for years to come, it would be in the interests of all sides if we were able to reach an agreement with the remaining cartelists.”
The details of the settlement with Lufthansa remain confidential.