The General Court of the European Union has overturned the €790 million in fines against 11 airlines, who were accused by the European Commission of price fixing.
The fines were originally imposed at the end of 2010, on the basis that these airlines, including British Airways, Air Canada and Air France-KLM, had colluded in fixing fuel and security surcharges between 2000 and 2006.
The Court ruled that contradictory arguments had been used by the European Commission; specifically, over whether there had been four separate offences or one co-ordinated offence. The Commission will be able to challenge the ruling.
Air France was fined €183 million, KLM €127 million and British Airways €104 million. The U.S. ran their own investigation and found 18 airlines guilty of price fixing, fining them a total of $1.6 billion.
This follows news of a separate cartel-busting operation against delivery firms by France’s own antitrust watchdog.