first_imgTwenty-one international carriers are facing a class-action lawsuit in Korea for years of allegedly price fixing foreign freight services for years. The class-action follows the issuing of a combined 120 billion won (US$98.9 million) in fines to 19 local and foreign freight companies by the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) for years of price fixing, reports the Korea Herald. Two international carriers also received warnings from the FTC, who described the companies involved as part of the “biggest global cartel”, following their practices of unfairly introducing or changing fuel surcharges between 1999 and 2007. A group of Korean cargo transport companies are heading the class-action, which is one of only two class-action lawsuits ever to be brought against Korean cartel members by a consumer group.The second consumer group led class-action is still in progress and accuses LPG companies of fixing LPG prices between 2003 and 2008, according to legal and retail officials. The FTC has said that it will work with the consumer groups towards compensation. “Cargo companies were seriously damaged by carriers’ price-fixing practices over the years and we are to bring an action for damages against them,” said Lee Dae-soon, a lawyer representing the consumer group. “The level of disciplinary action taken by the FTC was lower than what we expected in the beginning for they even reduced the amount of fines to carriers that self-reported their business malpractices,” he added. The original fines imposed by the FTC were the first of their kind to be given to a global cartel by the state-run watchdog. But legal experts have reportedly cast doubt on the class-actions’ chances of success, as only securities-related class-action lawsuits are recognized in current Korean law.The 19 airlines listed by the Korea Herald as having received fines are Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Singapore Airlines, Air France, Air France-KLM, Air Hong Kong, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Cargolux Airlines, Cathay Pacific, KLM Airlines, Qantas Airways, Thai Airlines and Polar Airlines. <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Flast_img