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Archive for November 10th, 2010

A thought on the Commission´s Air Freight Cartel Decision

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As we announced last week , the Commission adopted its decision in the air freight cartel yesterday.

From a policy standpoint there´s one thing that strikes me:

The Commission has fined 11 companies, and all of them (except for Singapore Airlines) have been granted reductions pursuant to the Leniency Notice.  At the same time, the Commission has left out of the Decision a significant number of airlines which had been included as addressees of the Statement of Objections. “Coincidentally”, the ones left out are  the ones which had not asked for leniency (my guess is that many of them would´ve done it and didn´t because ten other airlines were ahead of them).

In my view there were many reasons for excluding some of the airlines from the decision. I´m also conscious that adopting a decision such as this one with regards to more than 20 companies would have implied a hell of a lot of work.  However, and from a policy standpoint, what message does the fact that only leniency appliccants have been sanctioned convey to future potential leniency applicants?  Isn´t  the Commission shooting its own foot?

(For full disclosure: I participated in the case in representation of a company which is not amongst the ones fined. It´s one of those for whose exclusion there were good reasons).

Written by Alfonso Lamadrid

10 November 2010 at 12:19 pm

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